Sunday, 25 January 2015

No Fear Go Smear

Have you had your smear test within the last 3 years?

I was reading in one of my online journals this evening that 1 out of 5 women do not go for a smear test because they are scared. I think that is so shocking, but I am only shocked at the statistic not because women are scared. 

It isn't the most pleasant of experiences is it? But it is so fundamental, particularly for those who are sexually active, since 70% of cervical cancers are spread through intercourse. I can totally understand why women feel so worried about having it done. There is a fantastic campaign at the moment in the UK called #NoFearGoSmear and it tirelessly tries to encourage women to have their smears done and alleviate their worries. 

Some women do not like how clinical it all is so nurses are going into their homes to perform the examination. Some women are scared about pain so they are seen in clinics beforehand to alleviate their fears and go through analgesia options (if needed). I have read how some women have panic attacks over the thought of having it done so nurses are encouraging women to bring in whatever it is that helps calm them like music, a friend, meditation etc. In some areas of the UK attendance rates are as low as 55% and I think a lot of it is to do with the negative attitudes people have towards it.

It can save lives, it really can and do you know something else? Cervical cancer could be eradicated if we all had smears and girls under the age of 16 have the vaccination. Isn't that amazing?! It's also really important to highlight that a smear (pap smear) test is designed to locate pre-cancerous cells. Below is a video which shows just how quick and simple the procedure is. I'm not expecting you to go to your exam in a fairy outfit though!

Have you had your smear test? And if you have friends being called now or soon be an encouragement to them!

1 comment:

Mary said...

I'm actually going in about an hour to have mine! Last year, my gyno told me that I don't have to have one every year unless I wanted one. I told her I didn't particularly WANT one, but I felt it was absolutely necessary. Even though I'm at low risk, it has to start somewhere!

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