With 1 in 3 women in the UK not taking up the invite for their cervical screening check, I’m striving to help women make informed decisions about their health. I’ve set out to share a variety of experiences of the cervical screening process – from invitation to after-party. Thank you to the women who’ve told me their stories; everything I share in this series is with expressed consent and I’ve changed names where desired.
This is what I tell my sisters: I went for my first smear, it was unbelievably painful. No one told me that for your first time you should ask for the smallest speculum, take a nurofen beforehand and try to be as relaxed as possible. It’s not painful for most people but for me it was and I was totally not prepared. I also bled for a few days after, just spotting, but still – again, this wasn’t expected.