So, I don’t often write personal posts like this on here and some may think that I am sharing too much information… but I feel as though this is something that needs to be shared. This could help someone else who is in a similar or worse situation to myself. I also need to get this off of my chest… so here it goes.
I had a doctors appointment yesterday for a cervical exam. I am 23 years old, so not quite old enough for a smear test. A couple of months back I was experiencing bleeding after intercourse, not every time, but it was still apparent. Then, at my next pill check, the nurse asked me if I had been experiencing any symptoms that I was concerned about… and so I told her. She advised that I book in for a cervical examination, however, no matter how many times I called the doctors surgery I could not get an appointment. In the end, I gave up trying. The bleeding stopped happening and so my worries went away.
Six months down the line I had another pill check. These are done every six months to ensure that the pill is not causing any issues and that I am still okay to continue taking it. This check consists of taking my weight and blood pressure and asking me a handful of questions. Before I left, the nurse spotted the notes on my file and asked me if I ever managed to book in for a cervical exam. I told her no, and that I gave up trying and she booked me in on her system so that I could be seen by her within the next two weeks as she believes everyone should be checked if they have any concerns no matter how small they may be. I agreed to come back and see her and I left the room feeling satisfied with the care given.
When it was time to return for the examination, I was very nervous as I had no idea what the procedure would entail. I took my mum with me (yes at the age of 23, I took my mum to the doctors… you are never too old to need support). When we were called into the nurses office, Katie (the nurse) greeted us and asked me if I was comfortable discussing the matter while my mum was present. I said yes and we proceeded to discuss the issue, she asked me when the last time I experienced the symptom was… come to think of it, it was around 2 months ago. She said okay and that even though I was no longer concerned, she would still like to go ahead with the exam just to be sure. Then she explained what the procedure would be like. She said it would only last a couple of seconds and that it would not be painful but maybe a little bit uncomfortable. She told me that she would insert a small tool that resembles a pelicans beak into my cervix and would gently open the tool so that she is able to see inside. She reassured me that she would use ‘jelly’ so that the insertion would not be painful. I agreed to go ahead.
Katie then pulled the curtain across and left me on my own to take off my jeans and underwear and position myself on the bed. She told me to give her a shout when I was ready. I did as I was asked, and Katie waited patiently for me to call her.
She came around the curtain and was chatting with me as normal, this made me feel a little less anxious about the fact I was laying there half naked in front of a stranger. She then gave me a warning as she put on the jelly, inserted the ‘pelican beak’ and examined my cervix. This lasted seconds, it was over in a flash and it was not painful in any way, just slightly uncomfortable when the tool was opened up.
She then removed the equipment and told me that my cervix looks red and inflamed and she would like to refer me to the hospital for further testing. She told me it could be nothing to worry about but she would always encourage girls to have these things checked out as you would rather be safe than sorry.
She proceeded to book me a hospital appointment with my nearest hospital within the next two weeks.
I was surprised at how quick the examination was and it was not as daunting as I thought it would be. I am anxious about attending my hospital appointment, but there is nothing that I can do about it in the meantime, so I am going to keep myself busy for the next two weeks and just wait and see what happens.
I will write an update here once I know more.
But the reason for me writing this post is this…
Just because you are not at the correct age to have a smear test does not mean that you cannot be checked if you have concerns in or around that area. This applies to those who are at the right age… there are three years in between each smear test and things can change in that time, so if you have any concerns book that appointment and get it checked, don’t just wait for your next scheduled smear.
It is not as horrifying as it seems, you are in safe hands and it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Have Hope Always,
from Aimee xo