What is a Smear Test?! - And Outfit of the Day - StephLeaMead

Sunday, 13 October 2019

What is a Smear Test?! - And Outfit of the Day


Black and Red Floral Midi Dress - Primark - Similar here - http://tidd.ly/670f0108
Black Fishermans Knitted Jumper - Primark - Similar here - http://tidd.ly/c2b445f9
Black Faux Leather Belt - Pretty Little Thing - http://tidd.ly/74624692
Gold Chain Choker with Details - Topshop - http://tidd.ly/5be8645
Black Buckled Faux Leather Heeled Boots - ASOS - Similar here - http://tidd.ly/1a45fe22

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Hey girl, hey! 
Hope you're all doing super well and enjoying the gorgeous Autumn season that we're now in. It's my favourite season, and no not just because it's so aesthetically pleasing - but because Autumnal fashion is my favourite. Styling Summer dresses with chunky knits and boots? Yes please! 
Actually I don't know who I'm kidding, I literally dress not much different all year round...

Who else has been sipping on their pumpkin spice lattes, gone conker picking, picked up some pumpkins, got their Halloween costume ready and is looking forward to Bonfire night? This really is the best time of year, albeit expensive but it's all so much fun. I'm dressing up as a possessed Nun for Halloween this year, and I'm whipping out the liquid latex to make cuts on the skin look realistic... Wish me luck! I'll be sure to show you guys how it turns out.

So, if you follow me on Instagram at @StephLeaMead you'll know that I went for my first ever SMEAR TEST last week as I'm nearing the grand old age of 25 and before hand I was dreading it, but actually it wasn't bad in the slightest. It was over so quickly, the nurse was really nice and now I don't have to go for another one until three years time. 

I know a lot of people don't bother going to them because they don't think they are as important than they actually are, or they're too afraid, think it's going to hurt, are embarrassed, think it takes too much time etc. etc. so I'm here to teach you some truths... Let's go!

Every single year, around 220,000 British women are diagnosed with some kind of cervical abnormality when they have these smear tests, and in 2016 alone 854 people died from cervical cancer. 

Having a smear test can detect these various abnormalities or cancerous cells that you may or may not have in time to treat them without potentially getting really sick or dying. The sooner you find out about it, the better, so don't delay the test. Chances are, you won't even have anything wrong with you at all, but it is so much better to be safe than sorry!

So, what actually happens at your smear test? A lot of people don't actually know what happens, they just assume it's scary and the nurse will see your vagina and stick something up there which will be painful and just no. This isn't it at all!
So they'll ask you a series of questions such as; when was your last period? / Are you pregnant? / Are you on any contraception? / Have you had a smear test before? etc. 

Once they've asked all of these questions and weighed and measured you if they have to (Not everyone does) they'll then ask you to get undressed from the waist down, and pop yourself on their examination bed. 
When you're on there, you'll need to lay down on your back with your knees bent upwards and legs apart. After you're comfortable (Or as comfortable as can be in that situation!) they will take the plastic or metal speculum with a lubricant around it, and place it inside of your vagina. When it's inside the nurse will slowly open your vaginal walls slightly, just wide enough for the brush to be inserted. Once this is done, the brush will go to the back and touch your cervix, where they'll then twist the brush a few times to collect the cells that sit there.

That is literally it. Personally, I didn't feel any pain whatsoever, just very slight discomfort from the speculum opening at first, but there was absolutely nothing to fear at all. They will send your sample off to the lab and when the results are back within a few weeks, they will send you a letter if it is all OK, or phone you so you can make another appointment. 

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Tips - Wear a skirt or dress so you don't have to get fully undressed. I wore a dress and just lifted the bottom part up and took my shoes off. So much easier!

If you feel uncomfortable, ask them to talk you through each step, they will be more than happy to do so!

You will be given a paper sheet to cover up if you want, but if it will make it easier and more comfortable, take a blanket to cover up with more. They won't mind, as long as it doesn't get in the way.

If you're a sexual abuse survivor / disabled and will find it hard to cope with, let them know and they can accommodate you. You can bring someone with you, they can have a chaperone join you, and can also give you extra time.
 
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See how easy it is? Nothing to worry about.
If you have any more questions, feel free to message me on Instagram, I'd be more than happy to put your mind at ease.
Now, go book your appointment!
Lots of love,
StephLeaMead X

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