I try not to get too personal on my business page – but there is definitely one thing that I am a strong promoter of raising the awareness of – and that is Cervical Cancer Prevention Awareness.
This week from 25th-31st is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week – and there is the #SmearForSmear campaign which I shared on Sunday on my business page.
You see, being 30 now, I would have probably had my first smear at 25, had my GP Surgery not been on the ball and send me a letter before it changed. I remember a nurse somewhere once saying to me, “oh you’ll have not had a smear yet” and I replied stating “Oh yes I had one at 18” and she told me off – like it was me that had performed it on myself.
But with troubles with periods, and pain – it was also done as a precaution – something that doesn’t tend to happen anymore – and I was later diagnosed with Endometriosis at 22.
By the time I was 25 – I had an abnormal smear and was referred to the colposcopy clinic. I was showing as having HPV too – another reason that I’m “pro” the hpv-injection. They also found out that I had cervicitis – they thought brought on with the mirena coil – which was fitted as treatment for the endometriosis – and so I began treatment. Treatment – smear – treatment – smear etc. Every 6 months for 2 years. And again, Abnornal, Clear, Abnormal, borderline and then my next one – when they expected me to “come back in a year” came back with moderate changes and I went back. I knew moderate changes meant I would need further treatment – better to be safe than sorry.
Back at my appointment I had LLETZ treatment – and they got rid of all the nasty CIN3 cells. They’re not cancer cells – they’re classed as “if left they could lead to” more a “pre-cancerous” words instead. The most fastenating things I found was learning that your cervix grows back – isn’t it amazing what the body does?
This year marks 3 years in August since I got my clear smear – and I will be due again for my next one – and if it doesn’t get mentioned before my “anniversary” I will be beating down their door to make sure I get my next one done.
Over to you
Are you 25 and had your Smear Letter? Did you go to your last smear? Are you late for your smear? If so – what’s your excuse? Yes, I know its not great, and I know it can sometimes be uncomfortable especially if you are nervous. I also know that sometimes people being that close to your downstairs is a bit off-putting – but its their job – they do this day in day out – and like boobs – we’ve all got them! (unless your a man obviously!)
And there are so many stories, of girls younger than 25 being diagnosed with cervical cancer – and it has been caught too late – don’t become one of those people.
And for those that are under 25 – and are worried then demand, demand, demand – if they are testing you for other things (STDs or BV then a smear isn’t going to take any more time to do!) If they wont – ask for a second opinion from a different gp in your surgery.
So what are my thoughts on the guidelines of 25-64 being the age range? I personally think that the 25 is “too old” for the first smear. However, I think that maybe it needs to be done slightly differently. Obviously Pregnancy and Sexual Partners can also attribute to the risk of cervical cancers – so why not call a mum for a smear 6-12 months after the birth of her first child? Therefore – if someone has a baby at 20 – then they have their first smear at 21 – but if someone presents for reasons for an STD clinic, then i think it would be advisable to get them in earlier as they have the possibility of more chance of getting hpv.
All everyone can keep doing is campaigning currently to get the smear lowered in age again – but not only that – please make sure you go for your smear when you are called no matter what your sexual orientation either ladies!
For more information then why not head over to Jo's Trust