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My Smear Test Experience


Lately I’ve seen lots about smear tests and it got me thinking about my experience with them. I have had a couple of smear tests now and all of which were different.


Before I turned 25 I knew very little about them. I was terrified. In fact I was so frightened that I decided I would never have one. That was all before I got the letter. Getting the dreaded letter actually made me stop and think. 

I realised I couldn’t not go. I mean I owed it to myself to go get it. As women our bodies do incredile things so we need to do all we can to look after them. That’s why I called the doctor’s straight away and made my appointment. It didn’t stop me from feeling anxious though. 

The day of my first smear test came and I was petrified. I didn’t know what to think. The only thing that kept me going was the thought that it would soon be over. The wait in the waiting room felt like it lasted forever. When my name was finally called I felt sick. I walked into the nurses room. She wasn’t the friendliest and said “I understand you’re here for a smear test, is this your first?” I replied saying yes and laughing nervously. The nurse motioned to the bed and said “pull the curtain across and pull your knickers and trousers to your ankles and lay on the bed” I did and before I knew it I was being asked to put my feet together and fan my legs out. I was told that it could be a little uncomfortable when they did the test. I should say that the bed was right in the corner of the room so my feet were against a wall. This meant the nurse had to stand at an odd angle. This I think made it more uncomfortable. I felt a bit sick afterwards due to the discomfort. I should say this disappeared after an hour. Once it was all over I just felt relieved.

Little did I know, that a year later when being referred to the infertility clinic that I’d be asked to have another. This was a completely different experience. 

The infertility clinic is also part of the gynocology department. Says it all really. These doctor’s know their stuff. I was made to feel at ease the whole time. A nurse had to come in whilst the doctor did the examination but they were both so friendly and made a little joke. I was then asked to fan my legs out and I was told to take deep breathes and relax. This time I was comfortable and not squashed into a corner. It was over before I knew it and it made me realise smear tests don’t have to be horrible. I mean they’re not great but, they don’t have to be awful. I felt so thankful that I actually thanked the doctor when I left. I think she thought this was odd. I didn’t care, I felt it was important to say when the NHS gets so much stick

My two experiences really differ which is why I wanted to share them. I wanted to be honest as I wish I’d had that before I’d had mine. With the right professional you can feel at ease which minimises the discomfort. After the first one the embarrassment kind of goes too.

So, if your smear test is due don’t put it off. Book that appointment. It’s really important and it’s something you shouldn’t fear. It’s over before you know it and it helps to keep you healthy. 

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this - it's so important for people to read real experiences. I'm sorry your first one wasn't great, but well done for fighting the anxiety and getting it done anyway.

    You're totally right, the people involved in your care while you're having a smear (and any further treatment needed) can completely make or break the experience.

    www.thenorthleft.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed reading my post. I wanted to share my experience as I am sure I am not the only one who has felt or feels anxious about it.

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