Monday, 8 September 2014

The one no one wants to talk about.....




Yes ladies, I'm talking about Cervical Screening!  I realise it's a a bit of a weird/TMI subject to discuss on here but I'd like to write about it nonetheless.  I knew I was overdue for my Cervical Screening (CS from now on) but like a lot of other things, it kept getting pushed further down my to-do list.  However, at the end of July I was reading a post from one of my favourite bloggers, Stacey from Expat Makeup Addict & it shocked me to the core to read that she had just been diagnosed as having cervical cancer.  She is only in her early 30s & by her own admission, she kept putting off booking in for a CS (which, like mine) was well overdue & she has now had to face the reality of not having children of her own due to having had a radical hysterectomy. 

I felt so deeply shocked after reading this post that I picked the phone up straight away & booked in for a CS, even though it would then be another 6 weeks until they could fit me in.  But last week, my appointment arrived so after some serious hair removal (ahem, ahem!!) off I went to the GP surgery.

I'll admit that I felt a bit nervous, after all, it's not a nice thought of what is about to happen.  But there are a lot of people out there who are petrified of getting this simple test done & I'd like to allay their fears a little by discussing the procedure.

First & foremost, this does NOT hurt in the slightest, not one tiny bit.  It wasn't even uncomfortable, there were just a few seconds where it felt weird - like something was tickling me deep down in my belly!!  I was in & out of the treatment room in 9 minutes & 8 of those minutes were spent getting my blood pressure taken & generally nattering with the lovely nurse about early menopause, living in France & exams!  She left me to get undressed behind the curtain & I hopped on the couch & waited for her to come back in.  She covered me with paper towel at this point so I didn't feel quite as exposed & then did what she had to do.  One difference I noticed to my last CS was that they now use plastic speculums so you get none of the shock of a cold, metal one being inserted - much better!!  No word of a lie, this part took a measly 50 seconds to do - yes, I was timing it & I explained I was going to do a blog post on it.  She was very pleased with any sort of information getting 'out there' about CS as it really does save lives.  This link will explain more about the procedure.

Later on that evening, I did experience some cramping (about a 5 on a scale of 1 -10!) but it was nothing that a couple of paracetemol & a warm wheatie couldn't fix.  I also had light spotting the following day, which can be normal I believe so again nothing to worry about & I should get my results in 2 - 3 weeks.

At the moment, CS is offered to women between the ages of 20-60 in Scotland & 25-64 for the rest of the UK (I strongly believe the age limit should be lowered to match Scotland though).  So I really just wanted stress the importance of booking in for CS, especially if any of you are overdue for your test, hopefully it'll remind you to book in asap! A 9 minute appointment every 3 years is really not a lot to ask.

*Edited to add information!*


4 comments:

  1. Great post Sarah - we do tend to push these things to the bottom of our 'to do' lists but we really shouldn't. I noticed the plastic thingy last time I was in - and if I can relax myself it's so much easier! x

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    1. I'll be making sure I book in as soon as my reminder comes in the future, it's so quick & easy! X

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  2. That is such a sad story Sarah! I'v been good & I have been regular with mine! Jennys right its much better now they use the disposable thingys....those huge cold metal things would scare anyone off of having one! Ax

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    1. Agreed, the metal ones were scary looking!! X

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