What to expect from a cervical screening

This year I’ve had my third cervical screening. I only had my first at the age of 25 as I missed it when the guidelines 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 with one, than from 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 Jacob; 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. The second and third time around I was geared up for it; very passionate about having it done and it never really bothered me.
What to expect from a cervical screening, cervical screening, smear test

What to expect

If you have not yet had a cervical screening, either because you are still too young or you’re 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 nurses who have carried mine out have been lovely; I would say if I wasn’t already relaxed they would have put me even more at ease. That is such an important point too – don’t panic or worry.

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; after that it was legs akimbo! The key thing here is to relax and it will barely hurt, if at all.

My top tip is to take a couple of painkillers half an hour beforehand; you probably won’t feel a thing then. The nurse then put the speculum up my vajayjay; (she had a quick check 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!

Once it’s done and the screening sent off, the results should be back in a few weeks.

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10 thoughts on “What to expect from a cervical screening

  1. The age is 25 for a reason. Younger women are far more likely to produce an abnormal result however it’s also highly likely to revert to normal on its own. Starting younger would expose women to even more over treatment than happens already.

    I appreciate it’s an emotive subject, especially when cases of young women with cancer make the news but it would be highly irresponsible to lower the age and harm the many to help the few.

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