It’s the two words you’ll hear when you turn 25.
And, we’re here to tell you, it’s not scary.
A smear test (or cervical screening) is one of the best ways to protect yourself against cervical cancer, and, as it is Cervical Cancer prevention week, we want to tell you why your smear test is so important.
And why it’s nothing to worry about. At all.
We decided to gather a few quotes from our beautiful #FemaleFamily who have experienced a smear test first-hand.
Here are their experiences in their own words…
‘It was super quick and the nurse was really lovely. We were just chatting and she made me feel extremely comfortable and relaxed. The whole thing was literally over in 10 minutes and I honestly barely felt a thing!’
‘As expected, I was a little nervous as it was my first smear! As soon as I got in there the nurse made me feel at ease. All I had to do was strip off my bottom half (might be easier to wear a dress/skirt if you're shy about that) and hop onto the bed. The actual smear took about 5-10 seconds. Honestly, it felt a little strange - but it wasn't painful at all! The part that took the longest was having a natter with the nurse about what I was doing at the weekend! It might seem daunting when you get your letter, but it's so quick and easy. Make sure you're getting your smear regularly!’
‘I first went to the doctor when I was 19 and I have never looked back since! For anyone who isn't yet 25, if you know something isn't right, you HAVE to get it checked out - You know your body best and you will be helped. If I hadn't plucked up the courage to actually go, I would have no idea about any of the issues I had and I genuinely think it was the best decision I ever made - who knows what would've happened if I hadn't gone!
The actual process was so easy and simple. The nurses put you at ease straight away - you have to remember this is their job and it couldn't be any more normal for them. It's over within seconds and after a few times you just get used to it and you'll never have to worry about ‘what if’s'. Going for a smear test is extremely important, even if you have had the relevant vaccinations it is still possible to carry cancerous cells in your cervix. It only takes a few seconds out of your life.’
‘I remember feeling so nervous. The whole idea of it just seemed intrusive and I'm quite a private person... but, my mum assured me time and time again that it really was nothing to worry about, so I just put my big girl pants on and went for it. The nurse was lovely, made me feel super comfortable and then I just remember thinking, 'god, that was quick!' I can't stress enough how important it is, just go for it, you'll come out feeling so much better than you're probably imagining. We're all in it together, and you're stronger than you think.’
'It really isn't that bad - honestly it's over and done with before you know it. The thought of a smear test is worse than the actual procedure itself and something that takes approx 15 mins (from walking into the doctors to leaving) and could potentially save your life long term. Yes, it is a little uncomfortable, but not painful! It's normal to be nervous about your first one, but honestly, you will be absolutely fine and proud of yourself once it's finished!’
‘One thing I cannot stress enough is how quickly it’s over. My nurse was lovely and actually said beforehand “simply open your knees and feel the breeze!” I am so thankful I went because I did need pre-cancerous cells removing from my cervix. Every nurse or doctor I met throughout were incredible. My mom sat with me during my biopsy and then my LLETZ (removing of the cells). Almost three years later - all is perfectly normal! Do not ignore your smear test girls, it is so important. We go through a lot as women, but we’re made of tough stuff - trust me.’
‘Whenever I have been for a smear test, rather than thinking about it being scary or intimidating, I try to think about how lucky and blessed I am to live in a country that offer this service! They are genuinely looking out for my best welfare by putting protection and steps in place to ensure I'm healthy and live a long happy life! How lucky are we to have a health care system that provides this. And on top of that, whenever I have been, the doctors and nurses have always been so beautiful and kind - they always make you feel so comfortable! Of course it's a little nerve wracking, but gosh, I’m thankful for it and all the girls & women it has saved!’
We cannot thank our Female Family enough for sharing their experiences with us. We hope this has given you a little insight into the process and how it genuinely is absolutely nothing to worry about.
If you would like further information about your cervical cancer screening, check out the NHS website here for all you need to know.
So, when that letter arrives, book your appointment as soon as possible! Once it’s over, we suggest heading home and snuggling down in your Lounge comfies.
A few minutes of your life is worth so much more than you realise. Don’t let them go to waste.
For someone you love or simply for you - because girl, you deserve it.
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