Do not fear the smear
This week thousands of women are coming together for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust annual #smearforsmear campaign. Images of smudged lipstick are trending and hopefully making ladies everywhere stand up and think about why cervical screening is so important. It may just be the reminder someone needs to attend a smear test appointment, so pucker up ladies!
What is it all about?
First let’s digest some of those scary yet very real facts.
Even faced with these facts the number of women attending their smear test is dropping and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust wants to make this trend a thing of the past.
Your cervix sits at the top of your vagina and a smear test involves taking a sample of cells from your cervix which are then viewed under a microscope to detect any changes in the cells that might develop into cancer in the future.
Not going for cervical screening is one of the biggest risk factors for developing cervical cancer.
Please don’t worry
There is loads of information, support, answers to all your questions over at the Jo’s Trust Website – if you haven’t visited it take a moment to do so – I promise you will come back enlightened!
As for the reasons you may have for putting off that smear….
Please don’t worry about what your vagina looks like – we are all different and that is normal. Your nurse or GP does this every day and certainly does not care. They will just be happy you are there.
Please don’t worry if you haven’t shaved your legs or jumped straight out of a shower – did I mention your nurse or GP will just be happy you are there….
Many women believe they won’t be at risk because they are not sexually active but cancer can affect anyone so don’t delay.
Many women don’t know enough about why they should have a smear – arm yourself with knowledge over at Jo’s Trust then educate your friends and family.
I know it can be difficult to get to appointments – but this appointment is a really important one. Hopefully your GP surgery will be flexible with timings – you can always ask for a different nurse or GP if you would rather not see your regular doctor.
Yes, smears can be uncomfortable, we all wonder what the point of the little sheet is / where we should leave our pants / if we really need to talk about the weather but remember it is only 3 minutes of your life!
Smears can be especially nerve wracking if you suffer from any type of pelvic pain. Please don’t let this stop you – make an appointment to discuss your concerns with your GP or nurse practitioner.
So let’s start the conversation this week and if you want to get more involved to help cervical cancer become a thing of the past there are loads of ways for you to join the fight.