January is cervical cancer awareness month.
With that in mind I would like to share my recent experience briefly.
I wasn’t due a smear.
I was actually at a physio appointment, to check my pelvic floor is healing OK. One of the joys of SPD recovery when you also have hypermobility.
Anyway, during the physio consultation she asked about bleeding. Pretty standard question, but I had to answer honestly and the honest answer was I don’t bleed now due to the coil except for those times after sex when I felt sore and swollen.
I was told that was classed as abnormal bleeding, which I knew but just didn’t want to admit. After it was long enough ago that it could be forgotten about right? Wrong. Fuck…
So she booked me in for a smear and off I went.
They don’t faff about this lot and it was all sorted very quickly.
At the smear I discussed the abnormal bleeding with a female Gynae (on my request) and she put me at ease.
I was my usual anxious self trying not to panic. Even though I know I can handle so much worse, smears still freak me the fuck out… not because the smear is bad, but because my first experience with a speculum and swabbing of the cervix was as part of a rape kit when I was 14 and yes, it still gets to me. I actually tried to put myself at ease by making a wise crack about the speculum not being cold now they’re made of plastic instead of metal. Big mistake because then I had to explain how I remember metal speculums when technically I’m too young to have had a smear using one. Ofcourse the nurse chaperone was very apologetic… but moving on.
The Dr told me immediately that she could see a small smass of abnormal cells.
A sample of the cells were taken.
Silver nitrate was used to burn the abnormal cells off, and no, that didn’t hurt.
Finally a smear swab was taken.
The whole thing was uncomfortable, I won’t lie, and I bled for a just under a day but it was worth it. The most annoying part was the bloaty swelling that was happening.
I am still waiting on test results and as soon as they come in I will let you all know. For now, I’m taking it as no news is good news.
So there we have it… The smear.
The appointment most women dread.
I implore you though, set aside your fear and book your smear! You never know what you could prevent.