What to expect from a cervical screening

Yesterday I had my second ever cervical screening. I only had my first at the age of 25 as I missed it when the law changed previously – I was 16 at the time so instead of waiting four years for my first, I had to wait nine instead. I’m a strong believer that the age should be lowered again as although I know it doesn’t necessarily detect all abnormalities, there is still more chance of detecting them than not having one at all.

I will admit, I was pretty terrified when it came around to having my first one as it was only 12 weeks after I had given birth to J and I’d had a slightly traumatic birth and was still very much in pain. I will say it did hurt a little because of the birth pain I was still feeling, but it wasn’t even half as bad as I had expected it to be. This time around I was geared up for it, very passionate about having it done and it hasn’t really bothered me.
If you have not yet had a cervical screening, either because you are still too young, or you are putting it off because you’re scared, I’m going to let you know – in plain terms – what to expect when you do have one.
The nurse who carried mine out was lovely, I would say if I wasn’t already relaxed she would have put me even more at ease. I think that is important too. I had to strip my bottom layers off and hop up on the bed, but I was provided with some of that paper roll stuff to preserve a little dignity (though what’s that when you’ve given birth anyway?!). I then had to put my feet together and bend my knees, then it was legs akimbo. The key thing here is to relax and it will barely hurt, if at all! My tip is to take a couple of painkillers half an hour beforehand and you probably won’t feel a thing. The nurse then put the speculum up my vajayjay, (she had a quick look too as I currently have a mirena coil in) and then she took a quick swab. All this feels like is a light scraping. And then, it was over! Just like that! (And she managed not to pull my coil strings out).
I should have my results back in a couple of weeks – that is where the nerves really kick in as it is something everybody wants to be positive news.
I hope that helps you be more confident about having a cervical screening.

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