It is a fact that most women are scared of undergoing a Pap Smear test! I mean who wants to have foreign instruments up her lady bits, coupled with the possibility of discovering that you may have life threatening conditions?!
Well, I was one of those many women and for the past 2 years I had been talking about it with my friends and trying to find who would be the best Gynaecologist to offer me a softer and more gentle check down there...
This is my journey and welcome to it.
I am 29 years old and would like to think that I am well informed with taking care of my body and making sure I stay on the healthy side. For some reason growing up I just never thought one would need to be examined "down there". Look, I honestly thought even for a pregnant woman it's just the scans and blood work done, no physical "peeking" so I was happy.
This became my life as I am a late bloomer (something that am proud of and don't have any judgmental hair for women who got their groove on earlier than me).
I think this is because I have always had some crazy phobia of anything going into my lady bits, I mean from a tampon, let alone a penis.
So I built this imaginary wall but finally decided to have penetrative sex when I was 26! So, I am fairly new to the game and enjoying these discoveries and feelings that come with satisfying the body sexually. Also I have only been with the one partner who opened the "gates" with our on and off relationship... (Story for another day)
Even before I had sexual intercourse, I was already having Pap Smear talks with my friends. It's funny that I never really had this conversation with my mother, nothing about how important it is for a woman, virgin or not, to have it done as early as the age of 21.
After the going back and forth and having my girls encourage me, I decided to go for it. Even those who had been "in the game" longer than me but had not had the pap smear done, came out and committed to doing it as well. It took me 2 years to finally book it and get myself checked out.
The one thing that set me off was good old Google. I scared myself to death, with "how is a Pap smear done" to "instruments used during a Pap smear" and that was the end of me. I cancelled my appointment and finally got the guts to book one in November 2017.
I remember the knots in my stomach as I drove to the Gynaecologist, called up my best friend to tell her "I'm going in" and she gave me the pep talk about how I've got this.
Even even when I booked the appointment, the friendly receptionist already knew that I was scared because I spoke about it, so as soon as I walked in, she was ready for me and throwing jokes to make me comfortable. Meanwhile on the inside I was dying.
I waited for my now OB-GYN to finish with her appointment and in that moment I thought of running away and that even losing my 2 grand would be worth it, but then again the thought of my health creeped in again and I man'd up.
As soon as I got into the consultation room, the Dr made me calm. Before I even gave her my name I was like, " Look ma'am, this is my first time and I am so scared." She then looked at my file which had my age, 29 on it and her eyes rolled back, she said: "Why did you take so long? However late is better than never."
I was able to breathe. She then asked me questions about my sexual history, my menstrual cycle and if I had any concerns.
She reassured me that it would be a bit uncomfortable but bearable and I just needed to relax. I went into her examination room, where she instructed me to undress completely and just wear the robe she provided me with and lay on the bed.
As I was taking those clothes off, I could feel my heart beating in my throat! When she came back into the room, she did the breast examination for any lumps in my breasts that might be cancerous or threatening. Once she was happy, she then explained that she was going to perform the smear. At this point I saw my life flash before me.
She washed her hands and put on gloves, took out a clear speculum and sealed brush that looks like a mascara, that she would use to swab my cervix and have that tested.
She then asked me to scoot down the bed and take a few deep breathes to relax. At this point I just completely gave in, I was surprised with how comfortable but uncomfortable I was. She kept encouraging me and we spoke about some trips I had taken and before I knew it, she was done.
Just as I was about to get off the bed, she was like "There's one more step where I was to take a look at your cervix for any growth."
I forgot the name of the instrument but it's a tube with a camera on it where she views for any fibroids on the screen.
Ok that one was a tad uncomfy but not painful, she gently moved it around to get a view around.
She then found a fibroid which was located in the back of my womb. She indicated that it was a bit big but advised that since it was not really disturbing me, we should not remove it. This meant that I would need to get a pap smear done every year to monitor the fibroid.
Besides the fibroid, I got my tests back 2 weeks later and they were normal. She gave me a clean bill of health and said that this was the perfect time for me to conceive because my eggs are ripe. Moving along....
I would like to encourage every single woman to undergo a Pap Smear test, this could save your life. I am preaching specifically to all the girls who were like me, before I got the test. Do not wait until it is late... Pap Smears are honestly not painful and yes your mind will play tricks on you but it's a 15-20 minute consultation, with less than 5 minutes to the actual smear being done.
So man up Chica's and let's get those Pap Smears done!
By Nubian Writer