The smear4smear campaign this week is run by Jo’s Trust.This excellent campaign is raising awareness of how cervical screening saves lives.
Did you know that 1 in 4 women don’t attend screening, but 2 women a DAY lose their lives to cervical cancer which if caught early through screening can often be successfully treated?
Having worked in a hospice as a palliative care doctor I saw the reality of this cancer and the way it destroys the lives of young women who are often mothers of little children.
It was heartbreaking watching these women make memory boxes and planning the futures of their children, knowing they wouldn’t be there to share their next birthdays with them.
The truth is that no matter how embarrassing or uncomfortable people think having a smear test will be – most leave the room saying “was that it??”.
As a GP, I’m here to smear. I know how it feels and I understand the initial apprehensions. Nothing will ever surprise me!
A few of my most favourite lines include:
- “Sorry I’ve not shaved my foof!”
- “I promise to wax my legs later…”
- “Apologies for that piercing…it was a mojito fuelled spur of the moment holiday thing…”
We don’t judge, nor do we notice the number of hairs on anyone’s legs. I promise!
Healthcare professionals will always do their best to make the experience as comfortable and speedy as possible.
A FEW TIPS…
- Some women prefer wearing a skirt so that they can lift it up when having the smear test and drop it down once finished (and so avoiding feeling naked from the waist down when getting on and off the couch).
- Concentrate on relaxing your lower back muscles and bottom into the examination couch. This helps to prevent you from tensing up.
- Don’t grin and bear it! If it is too uncomfortable, tell us. If you are worried, speak to us about your concerns.
So, share your Smear4Smear with @Joscervicalcancertrust to spread awareness of how important cervical smears are and if you are due a smear please book an appointment at your local GP surgery.
You won’t regret it!
Dr Claudia x