Health & Wellbeing Reviews

My first smear test experience – CONTINUED

Oh that was very dramatic wasn’t it? At the beginning of September, I went for my first smear test and I wrote a post about it, which you can read here. This post went down really well and I spoke to lots of bloggery women about theirs; some who have had many and some who haven’t been for one yet. I was thrilled to be a part of the bigger voice that will help women be more open and honest about smear tests which in turn will hopefully, encourage more women to go and get theirs. 

So anyway, I went for mine on 1st September and after the examination nerves were over and done with, it was time to get nervous about receiving my results. Obviously waiting for any type of results is nerve wracking but I was told it could take up to 4 weeks so I went about my life post smear test and even went away on a inpromptu weekend break with my boyfriend’s family – smear test results well in the back of my mind.

It had been 3 weeks since my test when I went away so I wasn’t too concerned about the results by this point. I figured if they’d found something bad they would have contacted me sooner and the test went so well (I mean, no smear test is a fun experience but as medical examinations go, mine was as good as good could be) that I was highly doubtful the results would be anything but normal.

I got back from holiday and there were a few letters sitting on my bed. Two looked like bank statements so I ignored them but one was quite thick so hoping it was an invite to a nice, expensive blog events, I ripped it open and found an appointment letter which had been made for me to attend another test called a colposcopy. They found low-grade dyskaryosis – which is abnormal cell changes and a HPV infection. Great. 

It’s safe to say I was absolutely gutted and I got so upset thinking that I had ruined what could have been a lovely end to our holiday. I re-read my letter over and over again to make sure what I was reading was correct and alas, it was. That taught me to be so naive about my own body and health.

Now thankfully I had another doctors appointment 2 days after I opened my results with the same doctor who did my initial smear so I took my letters along with me and asked her to go through it. She explained that what I have is quite common and there is a huge spectrum of cervical changes between what is considered “normal” and cervical cancer. And along this spectrum things can move and change on their own.

She also explained that HPV is very common and anyone who is sexually active at any point in their life can get it from someone else. Again, that can present itself and disappear of its own accord. She completely put my mind at ease and said that she’s quite confident that with my condition, it’ll be sorted very efficiently at my colposcopy and she’s never seen anyone with low grade dyskaryosis to go on to have any serious problems after treatment (in some cases) in the whole time she’s worked at the surgery.

Since I had my first smear, I’ve been so open and honest about my experience and trying to educate people and encourage someone to go and get theirs who might be too nervous to go. I like to think I’ve become a bit of an advocate for them. But now this has happened, I feel even more passionate about getting people to get their smears. If I hadn’t have got mine and been sent for further tests, it could have got worse and worse.

So… in my first post I shared some tips for nervous first timers. Now it’s time to share some tips for if your smear doesn’t come back with the result you want. 

1. Don’t panic. You’re not going to open your letter and be told you have cancer. That’s not how it works.

2. Read through everything thoroughly. They often send booklets about the examinations you have to have to give you more details. Read them.

3. Make an appointment with the doctor who did your test and ask her to explain everything more thoroughly if you feel that will help.

4. Don’t read horror stories on forums. Everyone’s experiences are entirely different.

5. Rings Jo’s Trust (if you’re in the U.K.) if you feel like you need to speak to someone about how you’re feeling. Their number is: 0808 802 8000

6. Remember that it’s okay to be upset / nervous / worried / sad about your results. Your feelings are valid and nobody can tell you otherwise.

7. If you get super nervous about hospital appointments (like me), your doctor may be able to prescribe you Valium or beta blockers for them if they feel it’s right for you.

So there we go! I thought my smear test experience posts would have ended after my smear test but unfortunately not so I thought I would make it into a “series” to try and help anyone in a similar situation. I’ll be checking back in after my hospital appointment on 17th October.

And please… GO FOR YOUR SMEAR TESTS!

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

76 Comments

  1. […] totally reasonable thing to worry about. This was the part that I hated the most and waiting for any kind of results is horribly nerve wracking. My advice for this would be to […]

  2. […] years ago, I had my first cervical screening and my results came back abnormal. It was terrifying for me and as someone with anxiety anyway, the whole process just made me so […]

  3. […] But I did it. I got through it. I even got through a hospital appointment when my results came back abnormal! Which was my worst nightmare – but I even got through […]

  4. […] stop after my first test because I got called back to the hospital for a colposcopy because my smear results were abnormal.And that’s what I want to talk about today because I was terrified but I really didn’t […]

  5. My first was a bad experience. I was under 25 so I had to beg to be seen, eventually I had to go for a very very minor operation (not mention being sent a letter that I had cancer when I did not… stressful). It is so important though and if there is any cause for concern (abnormality/ pain etc) just keep insisting! It is really good you asked your doctor about it because you could of very well said nothing and gone down a google spiral of doom! Great open post!

    Jen xx

    1. Oh goodness that sounds like an awful experience xxx

  6. themymanylovesblog says:

    This is such an important post! I’ not due mine for another couple of years but i think the age should be brought forwards to 18 as i think it’s really important! x

    1. It should 100% be lowered for sure! xxx

  7. This is such an important post!! Thanks for sharing xx

    1. Thank you xx

  8. olivia says:

    such a great and informative post. I dont have to go for one for a few years but it is a scary thought. your tips are great

    1. They don’t need to be scary. If there was a more open dialogue then women wouldn’t be terrified of going xxx

  9. I think it’s absolutely incredible you’re sharing your experience with us! I know that if I’m to get results back like that not to panic now, that’s such a good idea to go in and speak to your doctor and get them to talk it through with you, I feel that would really have helped me!
    PaleGirlRambling xo
    http://palegirlrambling.co.uk

    1. Absolutely I think if people were more open and talked about this more, women wouldn’t be so terrified when they receive abnormal results! xxx

  10. Oh Jenny ๐Ÿ™ itโ€™s so scary isnโ€™t it. Iโ€™m so glad youโ€™re ok!!!!
    I agree and I always push people to book their smear tests. Itโ€™s so so so important. Xxxxxx

    lucylovesbeautyxo.com

    1. It’s sooooo important. And it’s so quick and easy, it baffles me that people won’t get it done xxx

  11. Bravo for talking so openly about such an important subject. You’re approaching it so sensibly as well, which I’m so impressed by ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve also reminded me that I really am overdue for mine…calling the doc this week! x

    1. Awh thank you, I really appreciate that (: xxx

  12. This is such a great post! I’ve never heard of Jo’s Trust but that sounds like such a fantastic resource. Luckily my dad is a doctor so whenever I get scary letters I have someone to ask what everything means.
    Imogenโ€™s Typewriter. <3

    1. That’s so lucky! I bet that’s a huge weight off your shoulders if you’re ever ill or need any tests xxx

  13. Well done for sharing such an important post Jenny. Hope all goes well for you at your next appointment. I’m sure it will. Xxx

    1. Thanks Marjorie (: xxx

  14. This is such an important post and I’m so glad you shared it, I hope everything goes well with your next appointment (which it will). I’m definitely with you on how important it is to get your smear test, but even with that mindset, it took me a few months to book my appointment, which was completely stupid. People definitely need to be more aware. xx

    1. Definitely- if there were more awareness, women wouldn’t be so terrified to go! At least you booked it though- that’s the main thing! (: xxx

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