From Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th January, it’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and I think that this is truly brilliant. As bloggers, with our own little space on the internet and the ability to get messages out there, however big or small our following is, I couldn’t not write about this issue.

Whilst I haven’t been directly affected by Cervical Cancer, I have made a point to take some time to read all about it over the past few days. After all, the theme for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is ‘Reduce your Risk’ and by learning more about Cervical Cancer and informing ourselves, we can indeed reduce our risk. Take a peek at Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website www.jostrust.org.uk

Just seeing facts like how 1 in 4 women don’t attend their smear test and how smear tests prevent 75% of Cervical Cancers from developing is truly eye opening. What’s worse is that the reasons behind why women generally don’t go for their smears have come to light and it largely comes down to body shame and embarrassment.

I had my first smear not too long ago, which was brought about prematurely due to my own health issues and I just wanted to share my thoughts with you about the experience and the smear itself.

1. Getting a smear really isn’t as bad as you think it is going to be, I truly, wholeheartedly mean this.

2. Yes, it was slightly uncomfortable, but it was not painful, nor did it affect my life negatively in any way.

3. It is over and done with so quickly – it takes up just a few minutes of your time.

4. Doctors, nurses and health practitioners have literally seen it ALL before – they are not interested in how you look, smell or whether or not you have had a wax etc. They just want you to reduce your risk and be safe.

I cannot urge you enough, from one young woman to another – when you receive that very important letter, put all your worries and concerns aside and just go for your smear!

Whenever I have the opportunity to talk about my experience of having the smear, I talk openly about it. To family, friends, even colleagues, and if anybody else wanted to talk to me about it, I would openly tell them too. There is this idea that smears are this terrible, painful experience, even an hinderance. In fact, they are the complete opposite and we are actually lucky to have the opportunity to have them.

When the time comes, be brave and just go and get your smear. And afterwards, share the word! It isn’t as bad as you imagine and a few minutes could actually save your life.

L.

For more information, please see this amazing website: www.jostrust.org.uk

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

The UK’s only dedicated charity offering support and information to women of all ages and their loved ones affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. The National Helpline is on 0808 802 8000.