From Monday 22nd until Sunday 28th January it is Cervical Cancer Awareness Week and the theme for prevention week 2018 is “Reduce your risk”.
It’s never something I have ever thought about really, I get a letter through the post every 3 years stating I am due my smear test and I book an appointment at my local practice for the next available appointment that falls during the middle of my menstrual cycle.
Now im not going to lie, it’s not something that is pleasant and can be a little daunting even if you have had a cervical screening test done before but the test only usually takes around 5 minutes to carry out and once done I have always carried on my day as normal with only a slight dull pain, but nothing that would ever make me think ‘im never doing that again’.
As this week is Cervical Cancer Awareness Week I want to let you know a little about Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
‘Jo’s cervical Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to women affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities’.
The website is packed with information about cervical cancer and abnormalities, an online forum, local support groups, a panel of qualified experts for any medical questions and much more.
Please help spread the word about the importance of cervical screening in any way you can,I will put the link to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website at the bottom of the page which you will find information on how you can get involved if you are wanting to do fundraising, volunteering or many of the other ways you can help raise awareness.
The other way you can help raise awareness is to post to either Instagram, Twitter or both.
Post a picture of yourself with smeared lipstick on Instagram with the hash tag #smearforsmear and at the end of the post don’t forget to tag @joscervicalcancertrust.
If you don’t like selfies you can use the smearforsmear logo, again I’ll leave the link below
One thing I was quite shocked about whilst reading through all the advice offered on the website was the facts that…
- Every day in the UK 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer
- Around 2 women lose their lives from the disease every day
- Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35
- 75% of cervical can be prevented by cervical screening (smear tests)
However what was even more shocking to me was the information below
I can understand that it can be embarrassing or feel uncomfortable to get undressed in front of a Doctor or Nurse but you have to remember that you’re not the first women they have ever preformed a cervical screening test on and you defiantly won’t be the last.
There is a few things that I have found help me before, during and after a cervical screening test which are..
- Wearing a dress or a skirt to the appointment, that way you don’t feel like your bottom half is completely naked as you can pull your dress/skirt up and just remove your underwear.
- Take some paracetamol with you in your handbag, that way if you do experience some cramping afterwards you already have some painkillers.
- Talk yourself through it. Even I do this, I tell myself that it’s not going to take long and once done its done and the doctor/nurse won’t even remember doing my cervical screening at the end of their day as there will be a fair few women after me.
- When the Doctor/Nurse asks you to get on the bed and remove your underwear and let them know when your ready ask for a sheet if they haven’t offered, that way when you are ready and they come from behind the curtain you don’t feel as exposed with a sheet over your legs.
- When your told to relax, as hard as it is try your hardest as this will make everything go a lot quicker and far more comfortable for you. I have found finding a spot on the ceiling to look at or closing my eyes, taking short long breaths in and out whilst counting in my head also helps take the distraction away from what is happening and helps me to relax.
- Keep telling yourself for the 5 minutes it will take it can help prevent you from getting cervical cancer.
- Once the smear test has been done before getting up ask for some tissue if it’s not offered, you don’t want to be feeling uncomfortable as there can be some lubricant that could need wiping away.
Please never be to scared to book yourself and attend a cervical screening (smear test) appointment, the outcome can be so much worse for not attending than that 1 appointment every 3 years.
♥️If any men having come across this and have got all the way down to the bottom, PLEASE look after the women in your life and encourage them to keep up to date with their Cervical Screening Tests♥️
https://www.jostrust.org.uk/smearforsmear-this years 2018 awareness #smearforsmear
Thankyou for reading x