**Disclaimer if the word Vagina makes you uncomfortable, Buckle up its mentioned a few times**
Did you know smear tests are at 20 year low? I didn’t until I read this post on Instagram. When I went for my ten week appointment with my midwife almost two years ago I was told 6 months after giving birth I would need to book and go for a smear test. I put it off because I was scared of the result. Last week I finally plucked up the courage after reading the post to phone and book mine. “That’s fine Miss Fox we’ll see you next Thursday at 5:30” I then went on my merry way thinking nothing much of it.
Today I received a phone call from my doctors telling me there had been some kind of mix up, they didn’t understand why I had been booked in because I wasn’t 25 and couldn’t have the appointment anymore. I explained the situation of being told by my midwife that this was something I was meant to do, which was met by the receptionist “well she clearly doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” Always what you want to hear. I was then passed on to a nurse who was just as confused as I am. She explained that if I was to go for a screening now because the lab would see I was under 25 they wouldn’t even test my results in case they came back inconclusive…Yeah I’m confused too. Which is why the age has been put up apparently. Young women are being diagnosed all the time who aren’t yet 25 how many more women are we missing out as a result of not lowering the age?
This got me to thinking, why is the screening age 25 years old for cancer, a disease that doesn’t sit back in its palace of pain going hmm she’s only 23 got a toddler and a happy life I think I’ll leave her alone. CANCER DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT. Cancer doesn’t give a shit about who you are or how well your life is going. If cancer wants you, it will have you. People shouldn’t have to be told when they’re at a suitable age to have a test for something that doesn’t care about age.
I then got to wondering why the smear test is at a low? Is it because people like me are terrified of going? Is it because they’re sick of being told because they’re under 25 they can’t and then think whats the point when they’re old enough to go? Or is it because they’ve never been in a situation where they’ve had to have a vaginal exam and the thought of a nurse being all up in your business is too much to bare? Maybe you’re a mother and the thought of anyone touching your vagina right now is too much right now and you’re still hating the doctor for those god damn stitches. Fear, anxiety it could be a million things putting you off BUT If you can let your lover all up in your business you can let a medical professional.
We need to talk about smear tests, we need every woman to go for their smear tests we need to shout from the rooftops that the age of smear tests needs to be lowered! WE NEED TO BE OK ABOUT TALKING ABOUT OUR VAGINAS. I now have to wait a year before I can go for my smear test meaning that I have a whole year of wondering what if..
This is the year of the woman lets put smear tests at an all time high!