Laura and I always try to book ours together so we have the moral support and someone to talk to as the test happens. We have both had the situation where the nurse is, err busy and so conversation is stilted at best, leaving you laying there feeling everything and mentally counting down the moments until it's over. Fun fact I always started at 100 and almost every test was over by the time I'd reached 20.
It was at our last smear test appointment that I actually found out you needed to wait 3 months after having a baby before having a test. It makes sense but when I was sat in the nurses room a whole 3 weeks after having Annabelle I was just wanting it over. It's the only time you can delay having your smear! I did stay with Laura though so she had someone to talk to.
Just like most medical things, oh and the dentist, I always spend longer dreading it than it takes and actually the up side of knowing everything is okay far outweighs the un-comfortableness.
Why am I telling you this? Well did you know Cervical Cancer Prevention week is January the 21st-27th? What better time to put out a reminder that if you haven't had your recent smear test - book it in! Just do it!
I mean smear tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers! 75%!
The crazy thing is 1 in 4 people don't have their regular smear tests. Shockingly 17.8% of LGBT women have NEVER had a smear test. Part of the reason being because they don't think they need to. Ladies we all need to. The only benefit we have over straight couples is that we spend less on contraception and can't accidentally get pregnant- it doesn't mean we don't need all the same checks!
The sad fact is cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women under 35.
A school friend of mine went through and thankfully survived cervical cancer. The saddest part of all is not the toll the cancer took on her and her family it's the lasting effects. The fact that she can no longer have children. The fact that she will always be prone to cancer. I mean it's live-changing and yet a regular smear could have prevented it.
It's stories like this that will mean Laura and I are happy to be supporting the #smearforsmear campaign this year. For details check out: Jo's Trust who are organising a nationwide campaign to promote cervical cancer prevention.
If you are UK based you may remember the name Jade Goody, do you remember her story? She was made famous after appearing on Big Brother and for a time appeared on plenty of celebrity shows. Then after having two sons at the age of 28 she died of cervical cancer! It was shocking. It still is shocking. For years the 'Jade Goody story' helped increase the number of people having smear tests but recent studies showed that numbers are declining by as much as 30% every year. And are now at a 21 year low. A number you can help reverse by sharing, talking about and encouraging ladies you know to get checked.
2 women in the UK lose their life to the disease -everyday please do you bit to reduce this.
Watch and share @joscervicalcancertrust’s #SmearForSmear film to share tips that may help women feel more in control and confident to book their test: https://youtu.be/
And on w/c 21st January join us in putting up a #smearforsmear selfie - a picture of you with smeared lipstick - and let it be a reminder to someone you know, someone who follows you or someone who sees your post that now is the time to get your smear test sorted!
If it saves just one life then it's worth it!