Friday, 17 April 2015

Book A Smear Test Please


Aloha Sprinklerinos,

WARNING - I'm going to be really graphic in this blog post. If you are very young or very not OK with that kind of thing, I'd suggest finding a more delicately worded article about smear tests to read because I would be upset to cause any offence to anybody. Some of this content could be classed as, 'adult'.

I love my pussy. 

Last week I booked myself in for a smear test at my local doctors surgery and tweeted about it, as you do. There was such a big reaction from all of you that I thought I would write a blog post on the subject to answer some of the questions I've been having.

I had my first smear test just before I fell pregnant with Darcy and was nerrrrrvous! I'd never had anyone look at my VAGINA (yes, I just shouted VAGINA at you because I'm always such a wuss about it and say lame things like, 'downstairs area' or 'nether regions' but let's face it, it's called a vagina. I wouldn't call my leg my 'walking long part', or my ear my 'hearing hole', so I'm going to force myself to gussy up and say it. Vagina. Vag-in-a) in a medical way before and I felt weird. 

Before I went I fretted a LOT about the nurse seeing my vagina. Should I fully shave the whole thing? Should I do a style? Should I just tidy it up? Should I do nothing? Should I wear nice knickers? Should I care? I worried a lot. 

If I'm logical about it, I shouldn't have worried. I don't feel uncomfortable to take my knickers off in a sexual capacity so why would I feel nervous to do it for a person who only wants to do a helpful thing for me?

In the end, I went for a general tidy (nice mental image for you there), standard knickers (I'm not trying to seduce her after all) and I had a very thorough shower (if you see what I mean) about 40 minutes before I left for the appointment. I realise that's a lot to share but that's what I worried about the most so chances are you'll be worrying too. 

When I arrived (after an age in the waiting room thinking about a stranger poking around in me), I was ushered into her office, she asked a few questions about my general health and periods and such and then she said, 'OK, take you bottom halves off and pop yourself on the bed'. The horror. This was my least favourite part. It feels quite unnatural to undress your bottom half in the middle of the day in a little office. 

I did as I was told, she came round the curtain, told me to but my feet together and my knees apart and there it was- she could see my fully right there omg vagina. And it was fine. This woman looks at vaginas all day every day. She could not give a crap if one is more pink than the other or if one woman has hair and another doesn't or if one woman has big lips and another has tiny ones. She just wants to do your smear and see you on your way. Remember that. It's just a body part. It's not that special.

She lubed up (yeah, I said 'lube') this thing that, can I be blunt?, just felt like a large sex toy (please God don't ever let my Dad read this blog post), slid (sorry) it in and then because it's hollow, poked this little sort of mascara brush thing through it, swiped about, pulled it out and voila, you're done. 

She left the curtained off area, I put my knickers back on, she asked a couple more questions and I was on my way and she was ready to vagi-swab the next lady. No big deal. 

Here is what the NHS says in it's official blurb about it :

"The cervical screening test usually takes around five minutes to carry out. An instrument called a speculum will be gently inserted into your vagina to hold the walls of your vagina open so that your cervix is visible. A small soft brush will be used to take some cells from the surface of your cervix.
The sample of cervical cells will then be sent to a laboratory and examined under a microscope to see whether there are any abnormal cells.
Some women may find the procedure a bit uncomfortable or embarrassing, but for most women it is not painful.
If the test picks up abnormalities in the cells in your cervix, it may be recommended that you have treatment to remove them, or further tests in a few months to see if they return to normal on their own.
You shouldn't have a cervical screening test during your period, so try to arrange an appointment before or after your period is due. The middle of your cycle is the best time to have the test (usually 14 days from the start of your last period)."

None of the procedure hurt. This means a lot because I do not deal well with pain. I will cry at the slightest discomfort and I have a VERY low tolerance almost everything haha. I have a LOW pain threshold. If this didn't hurt me, it REALLY DOES NOT HURT. I didn't find it uncomfortable physically, I just felt a bit weird mentally. Throughout the whole experience I reminded myself that if I were to develop cervical cancer I would have to have a lot more procedures so just do this and be done with it. 

The nurse was nice to me, the whole thing was free on the NHS, by doing this I am helping to make sure I will live a full life with my little girl (something my own Mother did not get to do with me) and I am taking care of my health. 

It is so important. It could be a matter of life or death. It is also a privilege to have this available because so many women before us did not. Use it. 

If you are putting off or ignoring your smear test, please don't. I promise you it isn't horrible. I'd actually rather do that than things like go to the dentist or have a blood test! If you feel nervous, take a friend or relative, book it for first thing in the morning so that it's out of the way and plan a little treat for later that afternoon to have something fun to look forward to. You will be fine I promise!

To look at the NHS official page about smear tests (which are actually called 'cervical screening' tests), click HERE

Have you had positive experiences with smear tests? Share them in the comments.

Toodlepip!

xx


192 comments:

  1. This is a great post, Louise. These sort of things need to be said, and it should not be something that women shy away from. The more bad press these important tests get, the less people will want to have them done! As soon as I reach 25, I'm definitely going to brave it and book myself in for one. Thank you so much for this informative post x

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  2. This was very insightful and helpful so thank you for writing this post. I'm only 18 so I won't have to go for a few years but least I know what to expect now! ️xxx

    dellalovesnutella.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hello my fellow sprinklerino,

      I know i'm not your doctor. But I spoke to my doctor the ther day and im the same age as you and he told me that you should get a smear every year from 18 and up. You may want to check with your doctor and just be sure on when to get one!!

      Much love xoxoxo

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    2. That's what I have been doing since I was 18 too!
      All the best, xxx

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    3. I guess you girls aren't from the UK? The age is much later here but I have to say I think that's a terrible thing. It certainly should be from a much younger age (18).

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    4. Wow, I am really surprised that its like that in the UK. I mean I know the health care system is quite different in every country, but 25 seems so late. In Germany they recommend you start going as a teenager (at the latest when you start being sexually active) and then come back for a check up once a year (twice a year if you take the pill).

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    5. I think the reason it's later is because you're still developing until the age of about 25, so something could appear to be wrong, but it's not.

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    6. But it doesn't matter if you are developing, the test is specific even if you are not 25 years yet. You really should go get one as soon as you start to be sexually active or as soon as possible.

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    7. In Australia, we have been told once you are sexually active, then every 2 years after that. I am a young mum so had one before 18, as my mumma had irregularities. :)

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  3. This is a really important post and I'm glad you made it. I've never had a pap smear but I've been thinking about it so much recently and know I need to book one.

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  4. I've had a nice experience as well, just about how you described it! Felt pretty nervous at first, but as soon as i went in, i felt myself loosen up! plus the lady was super nice which helped a whole lot!
    She said I did fine, and not gonna lie, I was expecting candy, as you get from the doctor when you're a kid, but she nicely send me off empty handed! Anyway, it's an important thing to do and I'm glad I did it :)

    kisses to you louise, love ya

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  5. I actually had my first one today! I was initially extremely nervous but the doctor put me at ease! I feel good taking charge of my health and that I'm taking steps to prevent reproductive issues early on. :)

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  6. I'm 19 and I find it pretty irritating that people between my age and 25 aren't allowed to go for smear tests! I'm a bit shy with doctors and stuff and I even had to get my mum to come with me to get my implant but this blogpost makes me feel a bit more confident about it all! So thanks Louise haha

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  7. Thank you for sharing this Louise! I have mine booked for next week and this has gave me a little insight into what exactly is going to happen! I don't feel as nervous anymore!

    Emily x // EmGrace

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  8. I had mine a few weeks ago and abnormalities were found, this happens to 1 in 10 people I am just relieved that I done it and that they were found. Mine luckily were nothing serious which I am very grateful for. I wouldn't of known if I didn't go and I had my boyfriend there for support knowing he was outside while I was getting the screening was very comforting!

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  9. This is a fantastic post Louise. Although I'm only 18, the idea of a smear test definitely scares me but your approach to writing about it really calmed me down! x
    http://cocoamay.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. This is a great post, and I'm sorry to dampen it. I am frustrated with everyone who doesn't suffer pain with smear tests, leaving out the small minority who do. My test was very, very painful and if you have never had sex, it is likely to be painful. I also cried for two days afterwards because of the trauma and we actually had to go back and complain and I was told it was handled badly. I was told the doctor went too fast and should have stopped as soon as I started screaming and crying. The thing is, it doesn't need to be painful but the NHS do not seem to take that seriously for some people - I get the feeling it's cheap and effort-free for them so they do not invest time or money in a better way. You can't just ignore the people who it's a horrible experience for. That should be addressed xx

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    1. Aw I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience. My nurse was very gentle and reassuring. Ask for someone else next time and explain the issue you had last time, and hopefully they can do it slower and more gently and reduce the trauma. Please don't let the bad experience out you off going. I know someone who didn't go and then was diagnosed with cancer but it was too advanced then :(

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    2. I too suffer a lot of discomfort with my smears I also bleed a little for a few days after, this is through no fault of the nurse it is due to other complications that I had been asking to be referred to a gynaecologist for quite some time. But it was due to getting a smear and the discomfort I felt during it, that the doctors actually started listening to me and finally investigated my other issues. I urge anyone who has pain or discomfort during their smear to speak up and get a reason why, if it was the doctor demand to be seen by someone else, if it wasn't investigate further! It is so important that you get checked regularly and great to see someone who is such an inspiration to a lot of young women speaking about it so openly. x

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    3. My last smear was excruciating and the nurse had to stop. She said she couldn't find my cervix. I have had 2 children by c section and felt them cut me open the first time (epidural had only taken down one side and it was an emergency so they missed it) and that was less painful. I know I should go again but after the terror of the last time (and she was lovely and tried to do it as painlessly as possible) I am gonna give it a miss. Thankfully I am in the minority but felt I had to say something as people need to be aware it may hurt them.

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  11. This was super helpful for my upcoming doctors appointment! You covered all the right questions i've been asking myself and worrying about so thank you :) Also, i'm 21 and I thought this was around the time you get a letter urging you to go for your smear test? Is it actually 25 now? x

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  12. Thanks for this post Louise. It's so important. I was nervous about mine but knew it needed to be done and it was absolutely fine just a little strange. Haha. I had mine after a 3hr exam, my last one of the week and exam period - I sure know how to celebrate!! I urge anyone putting it off to go. It's not bad at all and it could save your life. It was sad how impressed my nurse was that I made it 2 weeks after my 25th birthday as she says many girls just never come and ignore the letters they send asking for them to book an appointment. X

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  13. I am so grateful for your honesty and openess! For some, that is what is needed to convince them to book their test. I appreciate it Louise!

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  14. Such a great post, Louise. Well done for not putting it off xx
    Gill x EyelinerFlicks

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  15. That's what I'm worried about - how my hair should be 'down there' and having someone look at my lady bits!! So glad to be reminded others think about the same thing! Well done and thank you

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  16. This is so incredibly important I'm so glad you blogged about it! Too many of us are ashamed to talk about things like this but honestly the alternative is a horrible thought. Ladies, get a pap smear!

    bombshell-to-be.blogspot.com

    xx

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  17. This post has meant so much to me as I know that I have a really good relationship with my mum but my friends don't so they would never ask about this sort of thing but you posting this has made a very easy to read account of it. Thank you!!

    beautyclothesandallthingsnice.blogspot.co.nz

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  18. I'm not old enough to go get a Smear yet but I know when the time comes I will be heading off to check myself out - it's great to see more people talking openly about Smears nowadays

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty - www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

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  19. Unlike many fellow females, I visit my gynecologist at least 4 times a year. Better safe than sorry. I was very worried about all the things your worried about, too though. It's a shame that society teaches girls and women that their vaginas are a topic they shouldn't talk about. So thank you for this very helpful and open minded post. ♥

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  20. Wow this is really graphic (well not really) but hey, thanks for sharing your experience of doing the smear test! I might just need to get myself tested as well! Thank you so much for posting this! :)

    www.angerawrs.co.uk

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  21. What a great post Louise :) I'm turning 25 this year so it's finally my time to get my smear done and to be honest I'm quite looking forward to it! I know it's an embarassing procedure but if this puts my mind to rest that I'm clear, then why not?!

    Natalie Ann xo // Petal Poppet Blogs ♥

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  22. So good to see someone with so much influence speaking about such an important issue, that I know a lot of people put off.

    My smear test was with a nurse who also happened to be a nun and was wearing a full habit- she was really lovely, very professional, but there's something a bit strange about stripping off and opening your legs for a woman of faith and modesty.

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  23. Brilliant, open and honest post Louise. As a nurse myself I urge us girls to go to these appointments. It could just save your life. It is a daunting experience I know. Even having an insiders view to the nhs i still experienced all that you felt when I had my first smear last year at 25. It is natural to feel that way doing something that seems so alien and an invasion of our 'privacy'. It's not everyday that we whip off our knickers and bare all to a stranger, but in this instance its to a nurse/doctor who does not judge (at least they shouldn't) and we shouldn't be afraid to do something that is just so important to ensure our health. On that note please ladies don't miss your smear tests. For the majority its pain free, it takes little more than 5 minutes and it could prevent cancer. x

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  24. I had my first smear test done about six months ago, I felt awkward at the time but it was completely fine! I had a good chat to my university nurse and we found out we're from the same hometown, so we were talking away as she was swabbing me haha! She also did an STI check while she was down there, which is a good thing to ask to get done at the same time if your doctor/nurse is qualified to do so, two birds with one stone!

    be-ryllium.blogspot.co.nz

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  25. Thank you for writing this post Louise.
    I for one know how important this test is as my mum had cervical cancer 2 years ago. Luckily she received treatment and recovered from it(sorry to hear your mum is no longer with us by the way), but it's given me that nudge to go and have a smear test done myself, just incase it may be a hereditary thing or something.
    It's all well and good seeing you laughing and joking in videos with Zoe(which, trust me, some of the stuff you get up to is absolutely hilarious!), but this just proves there is a serious side in life too.
    Thank you again for this very insightful blog post, I hope as much as you do it helps many women get over that hump that's stopping them from getting a smear test done and they go and do it!
    A bit off topic but I would love it if you could check out my blog and YouTube channel. I'm still only just starting out really!
    Keep up the brilliant work,
    Gemma

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  26. My Mum has been havins smear tests for as long as I can remember, and when I asked (even as a little girl) she always explained what it was and why it was important which means now I'm 18 I know I should start having them regularly soon. Great post Louise! xxxx

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  27. Great insightful post Louise! It is so important to make women more aware and to go themselves and personally I found it comforting hearing an anecdote from someone I feel relatable to rather than some guy in a white coat telling me what's what, not that it would put me off going personally anyway but it might be more comforting and reassuring for others hearing it from you as many see you as a role model :D Thanks for sharing! :)

    VioletDaffodils
    xx

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  28. This is such a great post and in a weird way comforting as all the worries I have about it were the same as you. Thank you for such a great and honest post.

    Beth x
    www.hellobeth.co.uk

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  29. Great post! I think its amazing all of these bloggers are sharing their experiences with smear tests! I have been having them done regularly for a while now and I still feel nervous just before going into the room. Thats just a natural feeling! & I always soak in the bath for at least 30 minutes before rushing off to my appointment! haha

    Renee | Lose The Road

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  30. Funny how everyone is trying to force young women to get smear tests but no one ever talks about the chances of a false positive result. That having abnormal cells doesn't mean you're going to get cancer. And that if you've never had sex you DO NOT need to have a test because HPV is sexually trasmitted so if you've never had sex you won't have it. It would be nice to have some real facts. Not to mention that for some people it does hurt a lot. And for people like me who've never had sex the whole idea of someone I don't know putting anything inside me makes me want to cry.

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    1. You are right in what you say but the medical professionals can cover those things. The most important thing is to get girls there in the first place and that's what Louise (and others) are trying to do. It's not a pleasant thing to do but the point is that girls shouldn't be scared of doing it because it's so important. I'm really sorry that it makes you feel that way but please don't be put off having it done. Talk to the nurse about how you feel, explain that you're nervous and she will be as accommodating as she can. Talk to a friend or relative who has had it done, hopefully they will reassure you and perhaps they could come with you?

      It seems so unfair that we women have to go through these things but our health is so important. I hope you can find some reassurance before you need to have a smear test xx

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  31. A great and insightful post. The first time is always the scary :)

    Alisha xx
    http://alishaxa.blogspot.co.uk

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  32. A wonderful post. So important that we are candid about these things because they are so important to owning a healthy vagina!

    Just a note - your link to the NHS page on cervical screenings is not working.

    Rachel | www.currentlyrachel.com

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  33. I think it's great that people are starting to write blog posts about this - it's so important! It takes 5-10 mins of your time and then you're done. I agree with you - I'd much rather have a smear test than a blood test!

    Ceri
    October Eleven

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  34. When you said (please dad never read this) I howled!! Thanks for the blog post, it's so unfortunate you can't get one Til you're 25 :(


    My Morning Routine | Spring 2015

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  35. Hi, does anybody know if having the Cervical Cancer vaccination (in about year 8) cancels out the need to have smear tests? Sorry if this is an obvious answer, I'm very unsure!

    Katy | www.katy-davies.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes you still need to get a smear!! The vaccine protects against HPV which can lead to cervical cancer but it doesn't get rid of your chances of getting it altogether. There could still be some abnormalities that are actually nothing but still need to be looked at.

      Always better safe than sorry when it comes to your health! :)

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    2. Hi, the vaccine protects against the types of the virus HPV that are most likely to cause cervical cancer but it doesn't protect against all types of the virus so people who have had the vaccine should still have smear tests. That was a really good question and I don't think it's an obvious answer, there's probably a lot of people who think that because they've had the vaccine they are 100% safe from cervical cancer but that's not the case.

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    3. Yes you do! I have had the vaccinations in year 8 and all it does is reduce the chance of you getting cervical cancer, meaning that you might still get it, but you are less at risk. Its really important when it comes to your health to not tae any risks or shortcuts because the consequences can be fatal.

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  36. This is honestly so important, and really hilarious! Love that you're promoting it to the people who follow you, most of which are younger girls! xx

    Emily | www.emilaire.blogspot.com.au

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  37. Im due for one next year! And I was dreading it soo much but since reading your post im ok about it now! Its something that you simply need to do! Great post! Xxxx

    Anisha ♥ All You Need Is Red Lipstickl

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  38. I really enjoyed this post, really useful tips! I'm only 21 but I've always wanted to contact my doctor and get myself smear tested, I've heard a small number of horror stories where young people have been suffering from cervical cancer because they never went to their smear check ups. I love the humour as well! It makes it easier to read something serious.

    Thank you xx

    thirstykirsty94.blogspot.co.uk

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  39. In America our gyno doctors feel our breasts as well for lumps. She squeezes both nipples to see if any secretions come out then sweeps her hand over each breasts. That was more awkward than having her poke my vagina with her tools.

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  40. Thanks so much! I have to make my appointment over here in the U.S. for the same thing. Obviously it might vary a tiny bit, but your post and your honesty made me feel so much better about doing all of this. I really really appreciated this post and kudos to you for being able to open up about this topic on your blog.

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  41. I am over the moon that you posted about this.

    I find mine to be a little bit uncomfortable but it's over in about 30 seconds. And those 30 seconds could save your life. I wish that no woman felt so afraid or uncomfortable that they wouldn't get one done if they have the means. it's so so SO important!

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  42. I think it's great that you talked about this on your blog. It's so important to get tested and I think if people read this, there're going to see that it's not that bad and will go. For myself, hearing you explain it makes feel better if I go because it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

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  43. this was so great and so truthful! I went to the doctors today and long story short, due to immense pain I get during periods and the fact that they are very heavy I am now on the 'pill'. I was so worried that i'd be embarrassed to get it from the doctor but she was lovely. I then went to the pharmacy and was served by two guys and again I was nervous as they would know what the pills were but they were fine. Then telling my mum i'm on the pill (i'm 18 btw) was very scary but she was fine about it.

    I think we make a situation so scary in our minds but in reality, it's perfectly fine.

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  44. I remember having mine when I was 25 (oh my god.. THAT WAS FIVE YEARS AGO!!!) and I had missed out on the original age of 18 by a few months but I way also pregnant at 18 so they weren't going to do it then anyway. They had changed the age to 23 I believe (or it was 23 for me because I'd had a kid, i can't remember) but again I was pregnant and it got changed 25 so finally at 25 I had mine. I'd read that if you've already given birth it will be less uncomfortable physically. THere's minimal discomfort but overall I figured that this nurse had see hundreds, thousands of vaginas and mine would be no different, it was just weird to have a medical professional down there when a baby wasn't coming out of it XD
    I've had another one since then, when I was 28 and again that one was fine although they had changed the way you need to have your legs so theres me thinking i know what i'm doing and she says no no you need to put your legs like this now GOD DAMN IT make me look like FOOL with my vagina out at ya!

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    1. haha totally agree, when your in labour you really do not care someone going down there, hahaha

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  45. It's great to read a candid post on something really important, my only addition would be that we need to be more confident using other words like vulva and the labia minora and majora to describe our bodies, the vagina is only the internal part! Otherwise a great post Louise! :)

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  46. After watching Carrie's video about getting a papsmear I recently went and got mine done. Near where I live in Australia there is a bulk billing clinic that specialises in all things sexual health wise so I went there and it was so easy. The lady was lovely and the procedure was over so quickly. I felt so good after I had gotten it done and got the results. It really just gives you peace of mind and know that if you get it done regularly that bad things can get picked up on so much earlier. Thank you for sharing your story Louise. Its dialog like this and is really a motivator for many people, like me! Love you xx

    Laura
    alittlebitirrelevant.blogspot.com.au

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  47. This is so important! Smear tests shouldn't be a taboo topic, we are all ladies and we all have to have them sooner or later, and the more we know about them the better. Thanks for speaking out about this!

    www.hayleyeszti.com

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  48. I'm 18 and was wondering whether I should go and take on or not...but I'm a virgin and I'm scared it's really gonna hurt.....but I want to find out if I have fertility issues or not as I'm quite underweight and don't really put on weight easily....any suggestions? Maybe a different test for that? thanks. x
    Lovely, honest post btw Louise :) xx

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    1. I would suggest you go. I have been going to my gynecologist since I was a teenager both before and after I had sex. Knowing you body and taking care of your health is important no matter what you are doing sexually. I am not a doctor so I can't give advice about tests but you can definitely bring up your questions and concerns with one. Also, if you doctor is good at their job, it should not hurt. A little uncomfortable at points like Louise mentioned but perfectly doable. Hope this helps!

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    2. I'm 18 too, and in Australia, you don't need to go for Pap smears if you're not sexually active. It would be best to check the guidelines or government advice within your country. Also, I don't understand this "23/25yo+ only" thing with the UK. Who passed this law?! :o

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    3. You can definitely go and see a gynecologist even though you are a virgin but pap tests aren't designed to test your fertility but to prevent cancer. This is a really important issue though so if you can, I'd make a pap test. But you can also talk to your gynecologist about your worries regarding your weight and fertility!

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  49. This is a GREAT post, Louise! I have been getting swab tests since I was 16 just as a precaution (it was required before I got HPV preventative injections) and it is totally normal. At the time it was required to get when you were 17 or 18 in the US, and now I believe it's 21. I love how you say it is a privilege that we have this because you are so right!! Thank you for reminding everyone out there.

    xoxo Mollie
    www.molliebellezza.com

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  50. Thank you for sharing your experience. I've never had a smear test done but I probably should go just to check. I believe that it's important that we as women share these kinds of experiences, even though it can be a little embarrassing to talk about and at least now I know what and how it will happen which makes it a lot less anxiety inducing !

    xx

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  51. This is such an important post. x

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    1. I totally agree _ the message needs to be shared.

      From
      http://bowsandsunshine.blogspot.co.uk/
      xx

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  52. Why don't people write about these more often? I get that it is quite personal, but it is really important to share with others (especially younger people) that this kind of stuff is okay and not painful, or something to be embarrassed about! X

    www.littlebychoice.blogspot.co.uk
    www.youtube.com/littlebychoice

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  53. THANK YOU for this post, I turned 20 in Sept last year and got a letter from my doctor to ask me to book in for my first smear test and I am still putting it off because going to a doctor for something far more general is enough to give me a panic attack. It's so encouraging to have someone I respect and admire talk about it like this. I'm going to think about the fact that I want children one day, so I need to look after myself so everything goes well when that time comes. Thanks again Louise, this really has helped! xx

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  54. My auntie missed her smear test, she now has terminal cancer, they are trying a treatment that can prolong her life, it's £25000 for all sessions, it's £2500 per session and she's now on her second treatment although she's in pain she's pushing her way through, find her story on Facebook- Alex's Quest For Life xxx

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  55. This is such an important thing to share so well done to you Lou! One question though, do you have to wait till you're actually 25? I've received the letter (my 25th birthdays in July) and I'm unsure as to whether that means I can go now or do I have to wait till after my birthday?

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    1. I'm 22 and just phoned my docs and they gave me an appointment... so I'm hoping that means that you can do it when you're under 25! I think it just means that after 25 you will be invited for one, but maybe you can still have one if you're younger? Who knows!

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  56. My mother was one to impress on me the importance of these tests. Her mother's family has a lot of cancer and she wanted me to be proactive with my own health. My first smear came back abnormal when I was twenty. When the second one came back abnormal again 6 months later I had a procedure to treat my cervix. I find all my pelvic exams uncomfortable to slightly painful so I don't know if that's just me but the doctor was super nice and as gentle as she could possibly be. It really does help to relax. She did end up taking a biopsy [I don't know if that is standard every where or if because of the history of cancer in my family etc] which hurt and caused some spotting for a few days after but the treatment itself simply felt cold.
    I've gone on to have normal pap smears ever since and three healthy pregnancies and deliveries. I've had quite a few pelvic exams etc and it's gotten a lot easier. They are just doing they're job and they are trained to help you and keep you healthy.

    While it can be embarrassing early detection if often the best way to prevent things from becoming more serious later.

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  57. This was such a good post to do, I've had one too and had the exact same experience by the sounds of it! Well done for writing this post, it will help so many! Abi ;)
    http://www. myw0rldmyview.co.uk

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  58. For a German it is incredibly strange to hear that it is such a huge deal to British girls. In Germany you go to an Ob/gyn from probably around 14/15 and you go at least once a year... it's not just a regular doctor or nurse, it's a proper OB/Gyn and they will also be your number one person to talk to about contraception, the pill etc. They also do an ultrasound from time to time to check your ovaries and all that jazz...
    Of course it is strange for any girl to go for the first time but it really isn't a big deal once you've been a couple of times. And it is so, so, so important. I find it shocking that it's only been done after you are 25! I would definitely, strongly suggest you go earlier and more often!

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  59. is going to the dentist, really bad? I'm planning to visit one in order to get my wisdom teeth removed. They are fully erupted, no cavities, nothing of that sort. It's just I have relatively smaller mouth and doesn't have much space for them. So everyone said I should get them pulled :/ They are even straight ones, neither horizontal nor angular. but still I feel like I should get them pulled asap. They are useless. And I fear, they might get cavities because its hard to clean them, even a tooth brush can't reach them. But Louise just mentioned "Dentist" thing in a horror way and I am scared already. I hate dentists I have heard bad things about them :'(

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    1. Dentists are fine! If it does hurt, it'll only be a little bit and will only be temporary. It's best to get it done and out of the way rather than getting cavities :) xx

      www.pinkieprim.co.uk

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  60. Well done to you Louise for A) sharing your story and B) helping raise awareness for the importance of getting your smear.

    I just wanted to share my story regarding my smear test, just in case anyone has had a similar experience.

    I am 26 years old, I only had my smear done this year, now this is only down to the fact I was too scared to go to my appointments (which the NHS had been making me aware of, since I was 23)

    I finally went to my appointment and I would completely agree with Louise's very accurate description of how a Smear is performed and how it felt.

    The next part was quite concerning. It was about 8 days later, I had returned home to find a Voice mail from the hospital asking me to call them to make an appointment. I immediately rang back and the lady kindly explained. Yes, the smear had brought back an abnormality, but it was nothing too serious and assured me not to worry. Now as you can imagine, I obviously did worry and begin to ask my friends if any of them had received this after having their smears. A few had told me either themselves or family members have also received this call and have had to make an appointment to visit their hospital.

    The day of the appointment (about 4 weeks after previous call was received) It was very similar to the day of my initial smear. I was in a waiting room, then called through to a small room, where I was greeted by two nurses. One nurse took notes whilst the other asked me politely to once again remove my jeans and underwear and seat myself on a table with legs apart.

    Just like before my examination was over in a few moments. The nurse explained I was perfectly healthy and she had no concerns. She then went on to explain the many reasons that an abnormality may have shown up, it could have been down to the fact I take a daily contraceptive pill. She asked me to then pop my clothes back on and advised me to once again have a smear in 6 years.

    I felt relieved and happy to know I was ok, I was also happy to know we have such helpful and calming ladies working for the NHS.

    I hope my story may have been useful to anyone who has had a smear or is approaching an age where it is encouraged.

    x

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  61. I work in a very 'open' office and me and some of the other girls often talk smear tests. It actually normalises the whole experience and makes it a lot less embarrassing and awkward.

    The more we talk the better life is...and I agree I'd take a smear test over the dentist any day.

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  62. I work in a very 'open' office and me and some of the other girls often talk smear tests. It actually normalises the whole experience and makes it a lot less embarrassing and awkward.

    The more we talk the better life is...and I agree I'd take a smear test over the dentist any day.

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  63. Due to health issues, I had my first ever smear test at the age of 17, and let me tell you, I was TERRIFIED. I believe the recommended age then was around 25, then 18, then 25 again, but it didn't matter. I would rather be assured that I was in good or relatively ok health than to find out something life-changing when it's too late. It was uncomfortable and pretty much exactly as Louise described it, but after five minutes when it's all done and dusted, there's definitely an air of 'I did something good for me today!'. It turned out everything was fine and I have since done another smear test a couple of years later. For me the most difficult part of the experience was that the nurse who did it looked like my high school French teacher, but hey-ho, if I could go to school the next day facing my actual French teacher with THAT mental image, then we can all pick up the phone, book an appointment and encourage all women to do what they can to make the most of the health services available to us.

    Not much of a story, but I'm so glad Louise can be so open and honest about this sort of thing and be such a great role model for all women! We need more kinds of Louise's in this world!

    Thanks for inspiring us to be better people. :)

    xo

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  64. This post is SO important Louise and people like you will definitely make it more of a 'less taboo' subject. I am 35 and last year was diagnosed with cervical cancer after a routine smear-it was a total shock! I am in remission now but I blogged my whole 'cancer journey' on my blog-it's changed my life as I had to have major surgery and I was a bit lax about going regularly for smears-plus I live aborad where I don't get an NHS reminder letter. Thank you for doing this

    Stacey | Expat Make-Up Addict xxx

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  65. this is really important to talk about! i've never really known what all this fuss about the smear test was, and probably many others didnt as well. fortunatly i was vaccinated against cervical cancer a few years ago at school

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  66. Louise, one thing I don't think you should state is that it doesn't hurt. Everyone's experience can be different. Mine hurt quite a bit, I even felt sore after.

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  67. so inspirational and true!
    check out my new blog page it was made because of you louise :*

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  68. Thanks, Louise! I have been putting off making my appointment because I just didn't feel like dealing with it, and this was the final push/motivation I needed (just got off the phone making my appointment!)!!! It's so wonderful that you are raising awareness and helping people deal with their fears of the exam! XOXO

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  69. This made me laugh. I was terrified for my first test but I ended up getting pregnant and showing my vagina to about ten people at once instead. By the time I actually went for the test I wasn't that worried about it anymore. Great post Louise! x

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  70. This is such a great post. I'm coming up to the age where I will soon have to go for my first test and to be frank, I am dreading it. I have such a low pain threshold and get so embarrassed so I am a little nervous about it, this post has made me feel a little more relaxed knowing that others have the same worries!

    Sarah
    xx

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  71. For those wondering why the minimum recommended age in the UK is 25:
    http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/cancer-news/press-release/2013-11-04-routine-smear-test-in-women-under-25-would-cause-more-harm-than-good
    Basically in younger women changes in the cervix are very common, and essentially normal, but would be detected by the smear test. This would lead to many, many more girls/young women being unecessarily treated than actual cancers detected. This treatment can occasionally have serious side effects, so in the UK it was decided the best way of minimising harm to as many people as possible was to have the 25 year old minimum age.

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  72. I had a really bad experience with my first smear test a few years ago and I am due my next one and I have been putting it off due to how painful it was :( In Ireland you get reminders,and I have had my final reminder so I have too bite the bullet and go for it,feeling very very anxious,even more so than the first one.

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  73. To me it's so confusing to realize in the UK smear tests aren't done before you're 25. In Germany you usually start with these tests in your teens and repeat them once or twice a year. I've never had any bad experiences with it though, it's a bit uncomfortable but nothing major. I think it really helps to just remember that being a doctor is a profession and they only want to help you, they don't care about what people's vaginas look like.

    darjeelingtealeaves.blogspot.com

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  74. I loved your blog for ages and I just recently started a one by myself so if you wouldn't mind, could you check it? Thank you xx rachelbellebeauty.blogspot.com.es

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  75. I think the key is to go in with the mindset that the nurse or doctor does this all the time and have seen worse things. Its no big deal to them.

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  76. Oh, are these uncommon in the UK? I'm pretty sure I've had one once, or even twice, a year since I was in my late teens or early twenties here in the USA. P.S. Doctors couldn't be less concerned about your panties or, uhm, grooming! Remember, this is a medical procedure! They're there to do medical things to your "bits," not judge your looks.

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  77. Thanks for writing this Louise.

    I recently went for a smear test that I had been putting off for quite a while, and I must say that when it was done I really thought 'why was I so worried about that?!', as Louise said I would much prefer to have a smear test than go to the dentist or have a blood test! I’ve had some gyne problems so I was really worried that it would hurt, but I talked to the nurse about my worries beforehand and she was really very nice and understanding. In the end it didn’t hurt at all and it was over so amazingly quickly I was shocked (5mins is really an overestimation). The healthcare professionals that do this really do it so often they are pros!

    Last September my Mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It is hard to diagnose, and was misdiagnosed as IBS, and other existing problems she had, for quite a while. By the time it was found it had spread and was stage 3. Since then my Mum has undergone a barrage of poking, prodding, needles, tablets, and a huge operation. What’s more, because the ‘spores’ (I imagine the cancer cells like mushroom spores) are out there it means that despite the operation and the chemo those spores will most likely sprout again somewhere else, it is the same with all cancers. As a person who has always avoided tests and doctors as much as possible, it was a real wakeup call for me. That is why we must all do what we can to catch things as early as possible, before they spread, because the alternative is so much worse!

    Lastly, I just wanted to say that this website gives a few guidelines on what to do and not to do before a smear test, because if I hadn’t looked it up I wouldn’t have known that it’s better to have a shower rather than a bath before a smear: http://www.jostrust.org.uk/about-cervical-cancer/cervical-screening-smear-test-and-abnormal-cells/what-will-happen-during-my-cervical-screening

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  78. As a student nurse, it's good to read these things from like "the other side." Things like this can be scary but the staff will be aware you might be and will try to make it quick and not so scary for you. My first placement included gynae and I didn't know what a speculum was either and when the Dr asked for one I handed a million different things til I got to the right thing ;) and dont worry about how things look, no matter what you're seeing a dr/nurse for, theyre there to help and are used to seeing all manner of things :). I'm glad you're promoting smears as this is important x

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  79. I'm 27 and have been turned away for a smear because I'm not sexually active. My doctor got me to sign a form and said that as soon as I start having sex, that I'm to book an appointment straight away. At first I was fine with this but I think all girls over the age of 18, sexually active or not should get them done.

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  80. Most people that are under about 20 now only need one or two smears in there life now because we have been vaccinated against cervical cancer in year 8

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    1. Yeah. It is good for the vaccinations though but it is still worth getting a smear test.

      From
      http://bowsandsunshine.blogspot.co.uk/
      xx

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  81. I applaud you for making this blog post! It is so important to spread information about stuff like these and stop making them seem like such a big deal, because they're not.

    flowerce.blogspot.com

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  82. I think it's ridiculous that women have to wait until their 25 years old to have a smear test. It's definitely something I will be getting done in a few years time X

    THEFASHION-JUNKIE

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  83. The nurse who did my smear test said it was her favourite part of the job!

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  84. I never actually put any thought in getting a smear test. I come from a pretty hush-hush family, and the ladies in the house don't talk about vagina's at all (for example, I didn't know what a period was until AFTER I got it). So now that I'm older (19) I do my own research into woman's health but most of the articles are very boring and full of medical talk. Which is why I'm so so so so SO happy that you posted about smear tests because I read it as if you were my mother, teaching me about what I should know!

    Also, thanks for sparking some great convo's in the comment section!

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  85. This is something my Mum always says to me, I'm only 15 but I am still quite shy. The other day I had a bra fitting and I thought about it like you said in your post - she does this everyday, she doesn't care about the small details. She just wants to get you sorted and on your way. This gives me a lot of comfort for the future to be perfectly honest. I hope once I leave school I will come out of my shell a bit and become more comfortable with these sort of situations in the future.

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    1. I am around about your age as well and I remember when I had a bra fitting. But, I was nervous throughout it because I had never thought about what you did. It is very odd for me to even speak to anyone I don't know! So, with you and Louise saying things like this it just makes me realise and really helps.

      From
      http://bowsandsunshine.blogspot.co.uk/
      xx

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  86. So amazing of you to share this Louise. Love you lots <33

    emilybashforth.blogspot.com

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  87. This is so important I am so happy you wrote about this. I have never had one, I am 19 years old. However I have so many friends you are scared of this, and although I am not scared, I can understand why. I will never miss a smear test, it's super important. Health is the most important.
    Thankyou for approaching this topic I loved this post!

    www.curiouslyailsa.blogspot.co.uk

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  88. This is so important, thank you so much for this post! I see a few of girls saying that they "don't have to go yet" bc they are below the he recommended age, remember that's just a recommendation, screenings are preventative care, there's nothing wrong with that.

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    1. Actually in the UK they won't let you have a smear before 25 unless there's a specific problem. So, they're quite right by saying they're not at the right age.

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  89. This actually has been in my mind the past few months and I'll be honest and say I have not had a smear test yet. I'm just terrified and keep putting it off. I had the same issues run through my head as you have written. I'm easing into the idea of doing it and your post has made me more secure. Thank you!
    www.feastofstarlight.com

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  90. Brilliant post Louise and not graphic at all, I had smears done but not the Cervical smear as of yet, unless that was checked without me knowing, but on Monday I will make my appointment. The fact here in Ireland you have to be 25 or over to have one done is beyond me when girls are sexually active at young ages I'am not sure if it is the same in the UK they should really drop the age limit in my opinion you hear stories of young girls getting cervical cancer at 19 and wasn't aloud to have smears done because of their age. I don't understand that.

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  91. Med student here! Thank you for promoting this to your followers. We can catch malignancies SO EARLY with the smear, especially if a woman keeps with her schedule. It's such a great screening test for women, and they should not fear the doc. She/he is there to keep you healthy!

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  92. I'm quite surprised to read that the recommended age to start getting pap smears in the UK is 25... That seems so late! Here (in Australia) the rule is to get it from when you turn 18 or 2 years after you become sexually active, whichever is later, and then continue to get one every 2 years. I will have already had 3 pap smears by the time I turn 25!

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  93. I guess it's just one of those things that you will be afraid of until you finally get it done! I'm nervous as hell about those types of doctors visits and no matter what anyone says I'm still super nervous. Thanks for doing this very private post in order to help other girls feel comfortable with smear tests!


    beautyobsessions3.blogspot.com

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  94. Posts discussing topics such as smear tests I feel need to be graphic like this and not many people would do. Post like this and I think it's great. I've had one and it's not the most pleasant of things to go through, but like you said it's so important, and for 5 minutes of discomfort is fine. Have a lovely weekend sweetie xoxo

    jpoppy-thats-just-me.blogspot.co.uk

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  95. Thank you so much for this post Louise. I am 20 and have never had a smear test done, although I should have years ago. The whole thing seems very confronting but it sounds like one of those things that seems very scary when you think about it, but once it is over and done with you wonder why you were so worried. The last couple of weeks I have been thinking more often that I really need to make an appointment, thanks to you I will be making one tomorrow!

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  96. I'm from UK and I started having my smears as soon as I went on the pill at 18. So I have been having them every 3 years ever since!!

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  97. Loved how honest and straight forward you are! I never dared write in such detail in my blog, but reading this blog, I just might try it! And.... I know how mentally uncomfortable it gets because I've been there, on different reasons. The horror.

    Have a nice day Louise! :)

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  98. good one Louise thats something that needs to be said well done x

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    1. I totally agree

      from
      http://bowsandsunshine.blogspot.co.uk/

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  99. I've been putting mine off for weeks - the little 'cervical screening' pamphlet has been patiently waiting for me on my desk. I've had a test once a year since I was 25 due to 'abnormal cells' so it's completely ridiculous and irresponsible of me to continue to ignore it.
    We are so lucky to have the opportunity to be tested, and for free on the NHS in the UK. Thank you for writing this post, being honest about your experience and highlighting the importance of taking responsibility for our health... going to book my appointment now <3

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  100. I just feel like I should say that while it didn't hurt for you, it did for me. I think it was more of the shock as people had said "swab" and I'd associated that with a cotton swab and when it nipped me I was like ow! To me it was the same sort of pain as an injection. The nurse was incredibly kind, and you're right. She didn't care one bit about what it looks like. Go and do it girls!!!

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  101. You go girl! interesting stuff.

    Xoxo
    visit

    HTTP://WWW.Photogenici.com

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  102. Really good post! I had to do this when I was 16 which was pretty awful but I just kept in my head "this women see's vaginas every single day" and I really didn't care! Was not half as bad as I had thought and at the end of the day it is for medical reasons, for the sake of being slightly embarrassed it is so important xx

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  103. I'm so happy you've spoken about smear tests as they're such an important issue, and most young girls don't even think about them, or are even aware of them! (Which is both shocking and terrible.) So yeah, super glad that someone with as much reach as yourself decided to talk about it, and it such a lovely and non-condescendy manner too :)
    Much love Louise, you continue to be an inspiration

    Fii xo || little miss fii

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  104. This was very insightful, I love the way you worded it so it didn't seem so scary. I think it is one of those things every woman must do and I am happy that you did a blog post on your experience.
    bubbasdoll.blogspot.co.uk

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  105. Great post xx
    Could you guys check out my blog please, it would mean a lot (:

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  106. Thank you for writing this and for being so graphic! Made me feel much more chill about it! xoxo
    amber love

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  107. Wish I had this to read before my first trip to the Gyno. I did have some discomfort, but sort of like getting a shot, or if the dentist pokes your tooth a bit too much when checking for cavities. It was very short lived. And in the grand scheme of things, a little pinch/pressure for 10 seconds is better than having cancer or another issue. Luckily, they are covered by my insurance, but if they aren't for other readers in the US, call your local Planned Parenthood or other women's health place and ask for more information, there may be a free or reduced price program!

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  108. It's so strange that it's completely different in Germany. Every young girl has her first test when she goes to the gyn for the first time and when you are on the pill you have to go there every year to do the test. I think this is quite a good thing because for us it's such a normal thing to do it. There are better things in life than having somebody to look at your vagina, but in Germany we all sit on this chair regulary :D
    As I am writing it, I realize that I have to book my appointment for this year ;)

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  109. This is such a brilliant and important post! I've had mine regularly for years, I'm 46 now. I did have an abnormal smear several years ago which was picked up super early due to going for this test every 3 yrs. I had a couple more apts at the hospital during which I underwent what is called a colposcopy, and they froze off the abnormal cells. These cells weren't cancerous but had they not been picked up on, could have become later down the road. I then had to have yearly smears for 3 yrs and now I'm back on 3 yearly as usual. I've also on another note just had my first mammogram. Nothing to it ladies. These tests are done free of charge and we should 'all' be taking advantage for the sake of our health. One little tip the last nurse I saw for my smear gave me, was to clench your fists and put them under your lower back, you know like as though you're holding a steering wheel, it apparently lifts the cervix into a good position for them to see it properly and it was the most comfy I've ever been during a smear.

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  110. Such a comedy, honest and important post! Good work Louise xx

    Eleri Roberts

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  111. I love how you can reach so many people and carry your message very clearly through to everyone. You are an amazing person and very confident to carry these messages through.

    love
    http://bowsandsunshine.blogspot.co.uk/
    xx

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  112. I live in Scotland, so I had my first smear test at 20, and at 26 I havent had once since, because I moved to a new city at 23 and it took me a while to switch doctors. Im always thinking to myself, oh I should book an appointment but just don't get round to it, because it just doesn't seem urgent, but after reading this, I think I'll pop in and make an appointment. This is such an important topic, and I'm glad that people are talking about it

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  113. Please check out my blog x

    http://katieharper-penman.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/my-z-of-makeup.html

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  114. Thank you for talking about a topic that more young women need to know about!

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  115. Wow, this post is so amazing Louise, thank you so, so much! I'm 21 and am dreading the idea of my first smear test! I have always had the idea it would be really painful and uncomfortable and this has totally put my mind at ease. Again, thank you so much on behalf of myself, but my friends I'll be telling and the many others who will be reading this!

    http://shebearacharmedlife.blogspot.co.uk/

    Love Lucy x

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  116. I just turned 18 this last November and I'm not sure exactly when you are supposed to start getting these exams. I would think 18 was the age but I'm not sure. My sister has had this done to her before, but she had it done because her doctor sent her there because she had cyst. I've wanted to go, mainly because I'm a very easily paranoid person but I also get very scared at the idea of having something go in there. I'm more scared though of having something and not knowing at all. So thank you for posting this, because it honestly makes me feel more at ease about it. I'll ask my mom to go with me some time soon. Because it's always better safe then sorry.

    -Crystal
    http://crystallizeddaisies.blogspot.com

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  117. Hi Louise. I'm glad that you have written a blog post about cervical smear tests.

    I went for my very first cervical smear 2 years ago (i'm 27) and the smear test didn't hurt me, it just felt slightly uncomfortable.

    My results came back abnormal but i was tested at hospital and my results came back fine.

    It's better to get checked then not at all.

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  118. Have put it off for two years now.... (shame)

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  119. Like everyone above me has said thank you for writing this post Louise! I'm 21 and I know I don't have to go for a couple more years but I still sometimes wonder and you have answered all the awkward questions my mum feels uncomfortable answering when I bring up this topic haha :)

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  120. An awesome reminder Louise - mine will be coming up in about a year.

    Lizzie Dripping

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  121. As I am an older reader I am well versed in the smear test and it is just one of those things that you have to get done. As soon as the letter comes it is best to book it. It's like taking a plaster off. It's not very pleasant but it has to be done and as soon as it's gone? It's not that bad. Fab post xxx

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  122. I have had to have smear tests every year since the age of 17 because of pre-cancerous cells. Luckily, I moved to Wales for university otherwise this wouldn't be available to me. If I didn't go, chances are I would be dead right now (Only 21!). If you've never been for one they seem so scary, but they're really not. Thank you for making women actually think about it! Half a minute with an object up your chuff or potentially dying, I know which one I choose.

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  123. Great blog post Louise! :) I'm nearly 23 so a couple of years short of needing to go for one but when I do, I'll remind myself that they aren't that big of a deal.

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  124. Good for u! I absolutely hate doing that test but it´s an amazing thing really... not the experience, but the free test that can detect an illness before it takes hold and give you a long and healthy life.
    I´m taking mine april 28!

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  125. I'm so proud of you Louise! You are such a positive role model to young women and it's great that you're talking about real issues. Yes it's awkward, but like you said 5 minutes for peace of mind is totally worth it <3

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  126. Great advice! Everyone should definitely do this! Its better to be safe!


    http://ncolesnotes.blogspot.com

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  127. thank you for this louise! i have never had one of those tests ive always been too scared and put them off because 1. i thought that they hurt so i was super nervous! and 2. i didnt feel comfortable at all with the idea! but this post has put my mind at ease so much! thankyou! you are so inspiring and intelligent and such a positive role model. <3

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  128. Im so happy I booked mine as soon as I was 25. I had adnormal cells and had to have an op to remove them. They told me If I would have put it off like some people I could have ended up with Cancer. Im now fully clear and have not missed a smear and made sure all my friends and family never missed any off theres either, im now pregnant with my 1st and people looking at my vagina is just the norm now haha

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  129. I had my first one a couple of weeks ago, because my uterus is tilted the wrong way (can't remember the technical term) it was slightly uncomfortable as she had to poke around a bit to locate my cervix, but apart from that I was just chatting to the nurse as we went along! She's a midwife so I was so relaxed ... She sees vaginas all day every day

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  130. Such a great post Louise. I am 21 so I have a few more years yet, though I do think they should lower the age of when you should start getting them done! x
    www.lolabellebeauty.co.uk

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  131. Thank you so so much for this post!! I'm almost 20, and I've heard that's the age you need to start getting smear tests, so I'm a little nervous! The thing I was most worried about was what exactly goes into you - it's a relief to hear it wasn't too awful - like the torture instruments I was imagining!! You're right, this is very important, well done for highlighting it :)

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    Replies
    1. In the UK and many other countries you can only legally have a smear test at the age of 25 :)

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  132. May I ask, when would be an appropriate time to have a smear test? Should you go randomly even though everything is fine or should you only go if you have concerns? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. You can book one whenever you want. If it's your first smear then they're quite happy to see you any time just because they can do a general check up then. I went for my first smear after splitting up with my first serious boyfriend because I wasn't sure what to look for in case of STI's and figured that letting a professional have a peek would be much better than just wondering and worrying to myself. (But smears aren't just for checking for STI's, obviously they are also for detecting cancer and other abnormalities).
      When you call up to book your smear the receptionist may ask why and you can actually tell them you'd rather not say and then explain your concerns to the nurse/GP who carries out the smear.
      Hope this helped (and wasn't too ramble-y!) x

      Delete
  133. I love, love, LOVE THIS POST! :D

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  134. Please don't call it a vagina. ): I think it's great to speak out about such an important topic, but you should research the terminology and double check before educating people wrongly. The vagina is the tube leading to the uterus (the opening being the vaginal introitus), and the vulva is the Mons Veneris (the mound that pushes outward and is covered in pubic hair), and everything inside that general area (the labia majora/minora/clitoris/urethra/vaginal introitus/etc). I'm not entirely sure what area they receive the sample of, it may be the vagina, but using the correct terms will help educate others on their sexual health. (: And, you weren't entirely wrong... the vagina is down there. But please don't be shavin' it. (;

    Also, for those of you who would like to fact check or learn more about your nethers (or vulva!), the lovely Dr. Lindsey Doe at Sexplanations (on Youtube!) has a video devoted to the vulva under the title of 'The Vulva'. Very informational! ^,^

    also: I'm sorry if this came off as rude, but, it leads to a lot of confusion and as someone with such a high influence on people, fact checking where you can is better than not and having someone being confused and unable to articulate enough what is causing them pain. (: Ya know?

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  135. This post is inspiring. Thank you for talking about something that is so embarrassing for some people.

    I agree, it is so important for women to take charge of their own health (including sexual). Our culture trains women to be shy and embarrassed about our anatomy and anything having to do with it unless it's doing "what it's "supposed" to do".

    This post makes me want to yell out "Stand up ladies! Be in charge and proud of your vagina!" Yeah it doesn't sound as good out loud, but it's the thought.

    Xox

    Miss Amelia Joy ♡

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  136. Using your power for awesomeness... you are a legend Louise. A massive high five to this post which I totally laughed at, but also know is dead freakin' serious.

    Keep being amazing :)

    Iggi x

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    ReplyDelete
  138. Hi Louise, great post! It is SO important to be aware of these things and for them to be less taboo. My third smear test recently came back severely abnormal and I am now recovering from cervical cancer.

    Didn't expect to have to be dealing with this age 28 but here we are! At least it was caught, thanks to a smear test, and the doctors have all be fantastic.

    I'm telling my story while recovering here - also to try and raise awareness and encourage other ladies not to put off their smear tests: bakingbetter.co.uk

    Caroline xx

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  139. Dear Louise,
    when reading your posts I always find myself very happy and motivated, no matter the topic. Thank you for being such a fearless blogger/vlogger regarding such important topics where we all sometimes tend to struggle. I love your wit and talent to take a in general not so pleasant topic and just show your readers that it is not that bad at all!!
    KEEP GOING!!!!!

    xx, Dana

    ReplyDelete
  140. Great post Louise!

    Sounds pretty much like my test, although I had a male nurse, which kind of made it extra weird. In the end though I was like: hey what´s one more vagina for him? He´s seen hundreds and it is for the sake of my health. So I just chatted away with the other nurses and it was over before I knew it.

    So don´t worry about it guys, just go! It might save your life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh, this one time when I went in, I had a female ob/gyn and a male med student assisting her, the poor guy felt so awkward I could tell. it made me realize it's just as awkward for them as it is for us. he kept averting eye contact with me the whole time, I think it didn't help that I was like 16 then haha.

      princess-spooky.blogspot.com

      -Jamie ♥

      Delete
  141. Great post highlighting this simple test. I would much rather this test than any injection or blood test I have a real phobia of needles. I had mine done a week or so ago and test came back normal. It really is such a quick test and could save your life x

    ReplyDelete
  142. love the honesty louise

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    Tyana
    cityofglitter.com

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  143. I'm so glad you have openly written about such a taboo topic! Things like this don't get talked about enough and they are sooo important! Well done Louise and thank you xx

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  144. Thanks for doing this post. I am so scared I have one coming up. Absolutely dreading it! I'm going to keep positive about it now after reading this. It's my first ever one! Hopefully it goes okay! Thanks Louise xxx

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  145. This is such a great post, thank you so much. It can be so scary knowing that you have to have one of these, but to be told honestly and frankly what to expect is so helpful!

    <3

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  146. You little CUTIE Louise, it's so nice that you blogged this to reassure everyone! Defo have the same worries as you! Hehe!
    I just started a blog and have blogged about my trip to Morocco
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    X

    ReplyDelete
  147. ahhh!! I get it now! A smear test is a pap smear!! I was wondering for the longest time what you all were on about.. yep, it was kind of required in America when you turn a certain age... gosh, it's always so uncomfortable ESPECIALLY (tmi warning) when you've been sexually inactive for a while. On the other hand, if you ARE sexually active, the procedure isn't as uncomfortable, if at all.

    I hate that they have to put their entire hand just to do some cervix testing or whatever. Ouch!! The doctor always say "don't tense up, just relax." well, it's kind of hard to relax when you know you're about to be poked and prodded.

    Ayre

    ReplyDelete
  148. Louise, this is one of the things that I love most about your blog: it is very real and not shallow. I love the fun glitzy posts about girly things and fun, but I think that you also have a nice balance of more meaningful and serious posts that aren't all fun and games to talk about.

    This is such an important topic for younger girls and older alike to think about and be aware of, so thank you for using your viewership for good. :)

    Love you!
    <3 Kayla

    ReplyDelete
  149. This is a really interesting post and I'm glad you wrote about it - I don't think I got taught this in school!

    http://increddyble.blogspot.co.uk

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  150. I've been there, done that & got the t-shirt and really was nothing to worry about. I worried all day before I went, but your post is 100% correct, that is their job, they don't care what it looks like. Its better to be safe than sorry, and I put it off for 6 months... was worrying about it too much and ended up taking my best friend, so much easier! x

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  151. I don't understand why it's such a big deal, and why it's not normal, as normal as a blood test. You should be doing a smear test once a year from the start of your period or at least from the first time you have sex. I knew I should have gone at 15 or something like all my friends (Period at 11, sex at 18) but I didn't feel like going. I was embarrassed, but that was it. When I decided to have sex with my boyfriend and start taking the pill, I went in, the doctor did the whole test, prescribed my pills and I've been going once a year for a check up without a problem. I know a lot of people who do, because it's free and apart from potentially saving your life, it can save you discomfort of itchiness or other nasty stuff that happens usually. If you're on the pill you should go regularly as well, you don't want any unplanned babies!
    I'm glad you wrote this piece though, it can be very helpful to lots of women and I think especially pre teens, who are so embarrassed at anything that has to do with their body, and who I think should be aware of these things from an early age. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure what country your from but in England and most other countries you can only have them done once you're 25 so it doesn't really apply for pre-teens.

      Delete
  152. I'm so glad you've addressed this issue. I am terrified of having to do this in a few years time. I know that it is far worse in my head than it is actually going to be but it doesn't stop me worrying. Reading about yours and others experiences is great as it kinda helps me realise that it's just worry and it'll most likely be okay - I think. Got a few years before that though :P

    Ella x

    blogprincessx.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  153. A couple weeks ago I had to go in for a checkup, and I was so terrified. But I really love my OB/Gyn so much, she is so sweet and amazing. She changed my life by caring for me so I decided to go to medical school and do for others what she did for me <3

    http://www.princess-spooky.blogspot.com

    -Jamie ♥

    ReplyDelete

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  155. Thanks so much for this post! I was absolutely terrified about going for one in the future but after reading this it really doesn't seem so bad!

    http://diaryofthelittlethings.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  156. Thank you for this! I keep getting a letter fro my doctor about it and keep putting it off, but it doesn't seem too bad at all! Thank you for being open (lol) about it!
    You're the best!

    www.littlekaatie.com

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  158. ive booked my smear test for tomorrow at 11.50. im in the bath right now relaxing and getting clean. ive painted my nails and planned my outfit (comfy jeans that i can just pull off and on quickly) and im actually looking forward to getting it out of the way. for me the smear test is probably the easiest thing i will have this year, after a transvaginal ultrasound and a hsg test. this post has helped me feel very at ease about it!

    ReplyDelete
  159. Got my appt tomorrow for half nine and reading this to relax my self haa nervous and glad its first thing then going for Hugh tea with my friends my first swab so I'm excited for it to be over but apprehensive. Worst thing ever happened though. My father opened the letter I am so annoyed at that.thanks for writing this Lou your literally the only thknh stopping me cancelling haha
    Hol xx

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  160. Hell Friends............ this is very nicely explained article. When i was searching for a pap smear test in Bangalore, i got one excellent laboratory that is Anand Lab. Friends it is very nice laboratory i had a very good experience in Anand Lab. If you are also searching for best Pap smear Test in Bangalore you can visit the centre. If you want any more details you can go through the link http://www.anandlab.com/

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Thank you for comment!
Sprinkleofglitter xxx

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