Now I’m guessing if you’re reading this then you’re probably shitting yourself a bit about your smear test? Am I right? Anyway, the number of us actually showing up for their smear tests is at an all-time low, I was one of the people who didn’t go for their smear test, in fact, I think I was a good few years late for my first one. I hit 25 when I was still pregnant with Lily so obviously I couldn’t go then and then when I got my first letter inviting me I just put it on my mental to-do list but really I was just too fucking shit scared to go and for a long time it really felt impossible for me to even contemplate doing it.
Most people are worried about going more because of the idea of getting their bits out for a stranger and other potentially embarrassing and awkward situations, for some it’s past trauma but for me, it was more the anxiety of waiting to find out the results.
My mind always gravitates to the absolute worst case scenario and I put it off and off and off because I was too anxious to find out if there was something wrong or not which sounds utterly ridiculous when you put it like that but ultimately it was enough to make me rock up 3 years late having shat myself over it for longer than that. I make no sense, I know.
*This is my personal account of what happened during my first smear test*
The nurse doesn’t care if you’ve shaved or not. Promise.
I went in with odd socks, skinny jeans
Afterwards I had some spotting for around 24 hours and some light cramping which is totally normal. I shat myself about that thinking it must mean there was something wrong but my results came back with the all clear within 3 weeks (but I was told it can take up to 6 weeks) and negative for HPV.
Whether this be your pals or online. There are shit loads of people who shat themselevs before their first smear or those who struggle every time but talking to other people in the same situation as you can really help. Whether this is to help you feel less alone or to give you that drive to get down there and get your cervix out. Don’t shit yourself in scilence.
If you’re shit scared of the panic leading up to the appointment then my best advice is to not pressure yourself to go on a certain date. This was the biggest thing for me; the waiting.
I suck at booking an appointment I’m really worried about and normally end up cancelling because I will have worked myself up so much by the time it comes around. I knew this would happen so I didn’t actually book in advance, I just woke up one day and rang up. They were so good because they actually shuffled something about to fit me in even earlier in the day so I wasn’t sitting and worrying for longer than an hour. I really advise doing that if you struggle with appointments.
Talk to the nurse doing it, tell her you’re shit scared and she will be super kind, I promise. The lovely nurse who did mine had a look to see if it looked “normal” for me and even took the time to go over a poster of different cervixes to reassure me mine looked normal. Ask to insert the speculum yourself if that’s the thing worrying you, they’ll be fine with it.
If you’re super duper shit scared about it then book
Take someone with you, they won’t mind. Ben came with me to mine and they were totally fine for him to come in so take your other half, your friend or your Mum. Take them all if it will help just make sure you go because it really could save your life <3
You got this.