Smear the Stigma: The One Where I Kick Some Cervix

Hello my loves, so today comes at the end of years of seemingly banging my drum and repeating myself on and on and on. What about? About the importance of your smear test, about the importance of attending your follow up appointments.

You may be saying, 'well why is that a thing?' yes it is. Smear test rates are at a 20 year low in England, and have plummeted elsewhere, WOMEN ARE SIMPLY NOT GOING FOR SMEAR TESTS. Yes that was worth the caps, because smear tests save your life!

You want to hear what is even scarier?

 I attended my yearly check up with the gynae cancer nurses and they told me women were not turning up for their referrals, at all. What should have been a full clinic was empty. These are women with results showing abnormal cells, not coming in to get it treated. These are women who could have cancer, who are not coming in, who are sticking their heads in the sand.

What is more important, genuinely, tell me I'll wait....

What you got?

  • 'Too busy' nah I'm not buying that... too busy to potentially save your own life? Try again.

  • 'But it's embarrassing!' Really? *eyebrow* do you have any idea how many vaginas nurses see every day? And add to that gynae nurses, well it's just any other day at the office. I've had so many smears and appointments at this point a marching band could go through and it wouldn't even matter. No one cares, you vagina isn't that special. Go to your smear. Try again.

  • 'I don't need to' Gurl really? Do you have a cervix? Then you need to. 

  • 'I've had my hpv vaccine' The hpv vaccine prevents against a lot of strains which can cause cervical cancer, but not all of them. So you do need to.

  • 'I'm not a slag'. Yup I've heard this one. Oh baby, baby 90% of us have a strain of HPV at some point and your immune system deals with it quite happily. Ever had a cold sore, a wart, etc all forms of HPV.   The difficult thing is that there are so many strains and the dangerous ones rarely cause any symptoms. You don't need to be 'a slag' you just need to have had contact with someone who has the strain, and you don't know who has it. Mostly it won't be a big deal, your immune system will take care of it. But sometimes it doesn't and that's where your smear will help as it will spot any changes. 
And while we're on it two things, firstly this total bull about how only girls who sleep around get cervical cancer can bugger right off. It is complete nonsense. You can have one partner that you're married to and get cervical cancer, you can have had 100 partners and not get cervical cancer. It is not some kind of penalty for sexual behaviour.


Secondly, having the HPV vaccine doesn't make you more likely to be promiscuous, oh my god can you not. It's likely you've already had HPV in your life, most people have. Stop this nonsense HPV is incredibly common and making it seem dirty or laden with ideas of promiscuity just ensures women aren't going, or that those who need treatment won't talk about it. Not cool.

So basically, there isn't an excuse you have that is going to outweigh the fact that this can save your life. A smear test saved mine. It found cancer, and I got the treatment I needed before having to have more radical surgeries. This is why it is imperative you go, catching cells which are precancerous or at a stage 1a where they can be quickly removed can mean your life is saved and you can breathe a sigh of relief. 

Speed with all cancers is the most important thing. My smear results went from borderline abnormal, right on the cusp, to cervical cancer within a year. A YEAR. So this is why I'm banging on and on, putting it off is the worst thing you can do.

Taking care of yourself is important, this is the biggest killer of young women, you need to wake up. You need to have a conversation with your friends, your sisters it could save your life. 


Now if you like me want to help spread the message you can use my image and my hashtag #SMEARTHESTIGMA 

Please share, and talk to each other!

Much Love and Wellness

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