Cervical Cancer Awareness Week

For anyone who isn’t already aware this week its Cervical Cancer Awareness Week and I want to dive straight into what’s happening! 

Apparently woman attending cervical screenings are at an all time low with 1 in 4 woman being screened and reported that it’s due to woman being embarrassed about their bodies. I know it’s not a pleasant experience but those few moments of discomfort could literally save your life. I can assure you that in the course of your life you will do so many things which are much more embarrassing than having a smear test. I know I have!

The first few times I felt uncomfortable and worried and had my own insecurities to contend with. It may be that you have had a bad experience or suffered some trauma which is making it seem even more daunting. I understand that there are so many reasons which could make this an even more difficult experience and whilst I don’t pretend to know what that must feel like  there are some things that can help

– Plan to do something nice to treat yourself afterwards. It will give you some space to reflect and reward yourself for facing a fear.

– Ask a friend to attend with you, don’t worry they can be in the room, stay at the other side of the curtain or stay at the head end

– Tell your GP or nurse what your concerns are and what you want from them. It’s your body and you experience so be open and clear with what you need.

– Do your research but please stay away from the internet. Go and talk to your GP, ask them about the procedure, what to expect, how it might feel and anything else you might want to know. It’s important that you understand why and what is happening to you.

– The nurses have seen all shapes and sizes and whatever insecurities you may have then honestly the nurse will not even bat an eye. There is no such thing as normal, everyone’s vagina / cervix is different.

So let’s get serious ladies and look at the reality of cervical cancer:

– The symptoms are not easy to identify in the early stages, therefore screening is key for early detection.

– 2 woman every day lose their life to cervical cancer

– 9 woman are diagnosed every day with cervical cancer

– Smear tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers from developing

As you can see so many good reasons to go and have a smear! I have always gone for smear tests and a few years ago I had abnormal smear results. I had the virus HPV and although it never went any further I went into a yearly smear check for 3 years. Initially it was a scary time as I was hoping that the virus wouldn’t develop into anything more serious. Luckily for me, it didn’t unlike a lot of other woman out there.

Please please please please please please go for your smear test. It could just save your life!

Resources and support:

www.jostrust.org.uk

www.cancerresearchuk.org

www.nhs.co.uk

Picture – Pexels.com

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