"It wasn't painful at all, just a little bit uncomfortable."
If you’re over 25, you’ve probably received a letter inviting you to have your free smear test (or reminding you to get another one).
About 300 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Ireland each year, and regular smear tests are only way to detect changes to the cells in your cervix and identify pre-cancerous cells before they can start developing.
Many women just don’t get them done, though – they’re afraid it will be painful, they’re embarrassed about dropping their knickers in front of a stranger, or they’re just too busy to find the time.
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It’s Time to talk Cervical Screening examinations… AKA the dreaded SMEAR (horrible word) test! I’m going to be honest with you all, I’ve had numerous letters come through my front door that I’ve pushed aside. I’ve also ignored my mums tiresome pleas telling me to book an appointment with my local GP …because 1) I used the excuse of being ‘too busy’ with work and life in general 2) let’s face its it’s bloody embarrassing to drop your knickers and open your legs in front of a total stranger 3) I was apprehensive thinking about the pain I was going to endure! However I finally got my finger out, (pardon the pun) and went to my appointment. My doctor was so lovely, I hopped onto the bed and it was over in less than 2 MINUTES!!! It was a tad uncomfortable but no means painful. After doing some research I found that the number of women who should go for a test has dropped to an all time low in 20 years!!! Cervical Cancer is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35, with some having no symptoms whatsoever. 75% of cervical cancers can be prevented by having regular cervical screening, let me break this down for you…SMEAR TESTS SAVES LIVES. My advice to you… STOP making excuses, book, and go for your bloody smear! A smear tests last 5 minutes the impact of cervical cancer lasts a life time! #dontfearthesmear #smeartest #smear #womenshealth #cervicalcancerawareness #selfcare #selflove #getyourselfchecked #justdoit 💞
Actress Michelle Keegan admitted on Instagram yesterday that she was one of the many women to put off the procedure, saying she had “numerous letters come through my front door that I’ve pushed aside”.
However, after reading up on the facts about smear tests and cervical cancer, she decided to book an appointment. And filming herself in the car on the way home from the doctor’s office, Michelle broke it all down for her followers:
I was in the room five minutes, on the bed for two. It was really quick, really easy. It wasn’t painful at all, just a little bit uncomfortable. I know it can be daunting going for a smear, but these doctors and nurses do it every single day.
“Go and get it done and tell all your family and friends as well to do the same, because it is so important and so easy.”
It seems Michelle’s message is getting through – many comments on the post are from women encouraging their friends to book in for a screening. “You’ve just reminded me to book mine,” said one.
If you’re due a smear or you haven’t had one before, read up about it here and make an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!