Today marks the start of Cervical Cancer Awareness Week.
According to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, 1 in 4 women don’t attend their smear test so I asked women what advice they would give to someone who’s nervous about being tested.
1. Relax – Trish Auciello
Consciously breathing out and relaxing, instead of holding the breath and tensing up, makes a big difference.
— Trish Auciello (@Trish_Auciello) January 22, 2018
2. Put your fists under bum – Kirsty Cameron
“I find it helps to tilt your hips and that’s not just for ladies with a tilted cervix.”
3. Sing to yourself – Melissa Johns
“I sing ‘There she was just a walking down the street, singing do a diddy dum diddy do’ and by the time I’m finished the nurse is done.”
4. Take someone with you – Kayleigh Hanlon
“If you’re afraid, taking someone close with you might stop you be frightened.”
5. Chat to the nurse/doctor – Lynsey
“Talk to the nurse/doctor about your concerns before so they can reassure any worries you may have.”
6. If it hurts, tell the nurse – Jules Slevin
“If you experience any pain for any reason you can ask the nurse to stop.”
7. Ask for a smaller speculum – Jenny Marston
Ask for a smaller speculum. It can make the world of difference and your doctors SHOULD have one at hand. My mum’s smears were always so painful until one day the nurse asked if she wanted a small speculum and she didn’t even know she could have asked for one all along.
— Jenny in Neverland 🧚🏻♀️ (@jennymarston_xo) January 20, 2018
8. Count backwards from 60 – Deborah Hindson
“I’ve always found counting backwards from 60 – 0 always helps.”
9. Wear a dress – Charlotte Bell
“You won’t feel as exposed with a dress on.”
10. Have a glass of Wine – Emma Harrington
“It’ll relax you”