Are you a female over the age of 25 living in the UK?
Have you been for your smear test?
#SmearForSmear is an annual campaign run by charity Jo’s Trust to bring awareness to women and encourage them to attend potentially life-saving smear tests.
Smear tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers from developing
1 in 4 women do not attend their appointment when invited
I am not writing this to shame anyone who hasn’t been to theirs – I get it. It isn’t an incredibly enjoyable experience, you are put in an incredible vulnerable state and you give up a lot of dignity in-front of another human being. I was pretty nervous before my first smear test, however I knew I had to get it done. Yes it was uncomfortable, however I didn’t experience pain and it was over very quickly.
I got the all clear and didn’t really think about it much after that. Until about two weeks ago.
For a while I have experiencing bleeding when it is not my period, a while being about 18 months. I am not sure why I haven’t had it checked beforehand; I suppose I thought it was normal seeing as I am taking the pill. My doctor was a little taken aback when I told her how long it had been going on for and the fact I do experience cramps, and she decided to ‘take a look.’ Again I found myself feeling embarrassed with a huge spotlight between my legs but I just wanted the stress of not knowing what is going on to end.
She sat me down after I got dressed and told me she didn’t know why it was happening as nothing was visually wrong, and that I was going to be referred for a colposcopy and other tests.
Now, my anxiety makes me a catastrophiser so you can imagine what was going on in my head. Luckily I have a great support system around me who managed to comfort me and told me to not worry about anything until I got definitive results back.
I wanted to share my story not to scare anyone, but to bring awareness to the fact that you could have had a clear smear test result, however you should always be looking out for symptoms and things changing. I am still awaiting results and tests to be carried out which is obviously quite a stressful time, however I am so relieved I went to get checked out and I am getting the care I need to get answers.