There are some parts of being a female that are pretty awesome but our bodies really do give us a crappy time sometimes and we need to do some awkward things to make sure that our bodies are safe. One of those things is getting a regular pap smear/test. Yes, it’s awkward but it is also really important to get this test done so I thought I’d talk about it on here because I recently went and had my check up done and I wanted to talk about it. This may seem like a personal subject but I think it’s about time that women were comfortable talking about the things like this openly, so that we are prepared for when we need to do something about them.
What is a pap test?
A pap test is a screening for cervical cancer. The test is quite awkward and uncomfortable but it is important. The doctor uses a tool to open the vagina and take a swab that will indicate if you have anything abnormal happening in that area. The procedure is over within a few minutes and you’ll receive your results in a week or two. This test is recommended to be taken every two years from when you’re first sexually active because HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted infection.
Why is it important?
90% of cervical cancers can be prevented from having regular pap tests. The test is simple to take and over in a few minutes so it is worth getting the test done to make sure that you’re alright and if you aren’t alright, it can be treated before it progresses to a dangerous stage.
How to prepare:
I watched this video prior to getting my test done and it made me very confident about getting it done because it looks so easy and painless. It was also pretty funny because I think we all go through the process of trying to look REALLY good down there but the doctors who perform this test are used to seeing vaginas and I’m sure that if you’re behind in any grooming you may partake in, it won’t offend the doctor. But I’d recommend to do whatever is going to make you feel the most comfortable about having the test done. Shaving, waxing, whatever. Just do whatever makes you feel best for the test.
My experience and tips:
I’d never had this test done before and I probably would have delayed it if my GP hadn’t recommended I have it done. After watching that YouTube clip, I figured that the test would be pretty painless and I’d have it all over within a few minutes and go on my merry way. I was a little bit wrong about that.
On the day that I’d planned on having my test, I had to have a blood test before a certain time (for my diet) and then I wanted to get my pap test done just to get it out of the way in one visit. I was a little rushed because I had to get to the GP on time and hope that there weren’t many people waiting in the queue for Pathology. I had a really good blood test and so I was in a good mood to have my pap test done. My regular GP is a female doctor and she wasn’t working on the day but I was determined to have it all done otherwise I might have just avoided it again. There were no other female doctors, so I had to have it performed by a male doctor.
A nurse took me to a special room at the GP where they do pap tests. It is basically just a room with a bed and a bathroom attached. My nurse was super friendly and said that she would stay with me in the room if I wanted because I was having a male doctor perform the procedure and it might be awkward for me. So, if you do have a male doctor perform the procedure and you are uncomfortable with a male doing it, you can have a female nurse in the room to make you more comfortable.
What you’ll need to do is remove any clothing below your waist (pants, skirt, shoes) and you’ll get a sheet to cover your bits when the doctor arrives.
When the doctor arrived, he showed me the tools and explained what was going to happen. The tool that they use to open the vagina looks like a reverse clothes peg.
ANYWAY, so here’s where I’m going to get a little bit personal because this may happen to you and I want to just prepare you if you’re in the same position as me. My muscles down there are quite tight regularly and because I was a bit nervous, that probably made it a bit worse. When the doctor put the tool in and opened my vagina, I was in an immense amount of pain. I’m a little surprised it didn’t break inside of me hahaha. It definitely wasn’t a painless experience for me. THANKS, SOPHIE, YA LIAR. The actual swab was more or less undetectable but that could be due to me already feeling ALL of the pain from just having the tool inserted. The procedure did only last about a minute but it was a really awful minute. Once it was over, I was super glad and I just got dressed again and left!
My tips would be to make sure that you do whatever you need to to make yourself comfortable. Whether that’s attending to your pubic region, wearing a skirt for much needed air flow, breathing exercises to help relax, do it.
Have the procedure performed by a doctor that you feel comfortable with. Whether that is a female doctor or just a doctor that you’re familiar with and trust, make sure that you book to have it with them. Additionally, have a nurse in there to hold your hand if you need haha.
The procedure is quick, it is important and you won’t regret having it done if it prevents you from suffering from cervical cancer. Despite my uncomfortable experience, I will go back every two years and have it done because it is important and now that I’ve done it once, I know what to expect.
Remember, 90% of cervical cancers can be prevented from having regular pap tests.
I hope that you have a great day and make sure that you’re up to date with your pap tests!
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Au revoir xxx