A few days ago, you may have seen my post about cervical cancer and the importance of smear testing.
I posted links of it on all my social media and was surprised to see how my post was received. So many of you retweeted it and many of you reached out to say it had reminded you to book/rebook a smear. So achievement unlocked 😀 Also, the hashtag #dontfearthesmear appear on my instagram. I have since started to use it myself as I think it’s pretty awesome. It shows that many of us do fear smears but support each other at the same time.
What I had forgotten to mention in my original post was HPV. HPV is probably something you have all heard about. HPV not HIV – the two are completely different. HPV (human papilloma virus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection out there and most sexually active people, both men and women will have carried it at some point in their lives. It can be transmitted via vaginal or anal sex and the carrier may have no symptoms. As well as that, even if you contract it you might never show symptoms either. Then, years later it might surface.
Why are you even talking about HPV? This is cervical cancer post.
Well because they are connected. Cervical cancer can be connected to HPV. But not all women who test positive will get cervical cancer that is why it is so important to keep up to date with smears. There are over a hundred types of HPV. Each has its own personal reference number. Like other everyday harmless virus such as the flu, HPV can clear up and leave the body. It’s when it doesn’t that it can cause issues such as genital warts and cervical cancer.
There is a vaccine currently been given to young teenage girls in Ireland and both sexes in UK. Many worries have circulated since the vaccines came about and I’m not sure if I’d be for or against them. Yes, a bit mad considering what I’ve been through but I feel they aren’t tested enough yet. But that’s different strokes for different folks.
What can I do to protect myself from HPV?
Use condoms when having sex with new sexual partners. If your partner won’t wear one – then they aren’t worth it. Even if the pre sex work out is/was amazing. Trust me, in the long run comprising your sexual health for a quick bunk up is not worth it. As well as that, if they don’t respect you or your body enough to wear a condom chances are all their other sexual partners were probably disrespected too.
Find someone who respects you enough and adapts the “No glove, No love” attitude.
This HPV post is an update to my original cervical cancer post.
Today after what seems like forrrreeevvvverrrrrrrr ( actually only little over six weeks) – I got my results. I have been ringing my smear clinic since before Christmas. Of course, I knew the answer I was going to get before they even answered the phone but to cure my tormented mind, I kept ringing. Today was finally the day.
I was informed on the phone my results were back but she wasn’t allowed to give the results out over the phone. I expressed my worries and explained how my anxiety levels were threw the roof. After iffing and butting for what seemed an age, she replied she was going to put me on hold and see if she could locate the nurse.
My husband, beside in my car after witnessing the entire conversation asked what was happening? I explained to him the situation (with lots of language I won’t post here). Anyway, I think it turns out I wasn’t actually on hold. *Embarrassed face*
The lady explained the nurse had given her permission to speak on her behalf. Both my smear and my HPV test came back negative. I instantly welled up and relief flooded my body. Finally – good news.