* First off I want to do a little disclaimer: If you want any information about Cervical Screening please visit this link Here. This post isn't aimed at explaining everything there is to know about cervical screenings, it's just about my first experience and what happened.
I went for my first Cervical Screening at the age of 28, I know that you are invited to attend your first Cervical Screening at the age of 25, but I had been putting it off. It wasn't so much the actual process of being tested it was the worry of having something wrong. I know that doesn't really make sense because you'd think I'd want to go and get checked out for peace of mind wouldn't you? basically, I was burying my head in the sand.
I have PCOS and so I don't have a regular cycle. At the point of going for my cervical screening, I hadn't had a period in over a year, but I was getting weird things happening like pain and spotting, which could have been my PCOS or something else, it was really starting to worry me. I made the decision that I would stop putting it off and book the appointment. My anxiety was through the roof as I waited to attend first Cervical Screening.
On the day I was surprisingly calm. I went in and the lady was absolutely lovely, she put me at ease straight away. She asked me some questions and input the answers into her computer. She told me that she would be taking cells from my cervix to look for abnormal cells that can lead to cervical cancer. Then came the dreaded moment when she asked me to go over to where the bed was and undress from the waist down then lie down. She pulled a curtain around the bed so I had some privacy. Now, I have had an internal scan for my PCOS so I have had to do this before. But that still doesn't make it any easier. Because I am overweight I have this stupid complex about how I look and I don't even let my Husband look at me naked and now I was about to let a stranger look at me.
When I was ready she opened the curtain and asked me to open my legs but bring my ankles together. She then inserted a speculum, this had to be swapped for a longer one which she told me was very common. When she inserted the speculum it didn't hurt but it was a little uncomfortable. She then inserted a small brush - I don't know what the brush is called so I am just going to just call it a brush, sorry! This was used to collect cells from my cervix. It felt really weird! It wasn't painful but because I had never experienced it before it felt really bizarre. Then she took the brush out and put it in a little bottle to send to the laboratory for testing. She removed the speculum, asked if I was ok and told me to get dressed again when I was ready. The whole procedure from start to finish seemed to only last five minutes.
I got dressed and was told that my results should be ready within a few weeks. I left feeling quite proud of myself for going and finally getting tested. Then came the dreaded wait for my results. I think I'd convinced myself that I would have something wrong with me. One evening I was on my way out and saw the letter lying in the porch. I called my Husband over and I opened it, to my relief the letter said that everything was ok thank goodness!
If you're worried about your health it's always best to go and get checked out. Please don't do what I did and bury your head in the sand. I can totally understand why a lot of women are really nervous about having the test, it does feel a bit embarrassing for some of us. But the 5-10 minutes you're lying there feeling exposed and awkward is worth it to find out if you have cells that can lead to cancer or not! I am really glad that I went, even though it was a few years late. I won't be missing my next cervical screening appointment.
So, if any ladies reading this are scared to go, I really hope that by being brutally honest about my own experience it has encouraged at least one of you to go and get tested.
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