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Hello you Savvy 'n Sassy ladies!

Here's hoping that all is well in your Savvy 'n' Sassy world!
Did you know that knowledge is power? And the power can make situations you are not keen on much easier? Todays blog is all about what to expect at your cervical screening test, with some hints and tips so that the five minutes you are in the nurses room goes swiftly and comfortably!

How will I know to attend?
You will receive a letter in the post from the NHS inviting you. Usually you have to phone your GP Practice and make an appointment to see your nurse/doctor.

How often will i be invited?
Its depends on your age and previous results. Below is the general timeline:
Aged 25 to 49 - every 3 years
Aged 50 - 64 every 5 years
Aged 65 plus - only if you have not been tested since your were 50 or have had previous abnormal results.

Should you have had to have treatment you will be called back more frequently.

What happens at the appointment?
Your nurse or GP , (you have the absolute right to request a female nurse or GP), will ask you a few medical questions to assess your current health situation. You will then lay on a bed and can ask for a blanket to cover you. The nurse will be chatting away to you about all and sundry to relax you whilst very gently inserting small speculum. The speculum allows them access to the cervix which they can swipe a soft tiny brush across to pick up a sample for testing. That's it! It is very quick, very gentle and there is no need to be embarrassed. Remember these people are women too and know how it feels to go for a smear test!

What about my results?

After you have skipped out of the GP Practice with a huge grin on your face because its all done and dusted , the cell sample will be sent for testing. You should get the results in  around 2 to 3 weeks. 
Some 1 in 20 tests will see some abnormal changes HOWEVER most of them do not lead to cancer! Around 3,000 cases a year are diagnosed. 
IF HPV cells are spotted you will be called for treatment.

Some Savvy ''n' Sassy tips for your screening test.
1. Wear a dress or a skirt - you cant flash anything then!
2. Ask for a blanket to cover you if you don't want to see what's happening!
3. Don't be afraid of the big light - its essential to get the test done super quickly. After all they are delving into darkness!
4. Take slow steady breaths if you feel a little anxious,
5. If it is uncomfortable tell the practitioner,
6. It only takes just a few minutes and you will be chatting away with the nurse whilst its going on. Probably not best to talk about what you will be having for lunch!
7. Above all, remember a couple of minutes of the test is a life saver! 

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme was set up in the 1980s and as a result has seen a reduction in deaths form the cancer. The aim of the test is not to test for cancer but for abnormal cell changes on the cervix. This means they can check and catch changes before they become cancerous. Many abnormal changes will not need treating and will disappear on their own. 
I hope you have been reassured by today's blog article. The tests are quick and can SAVE YOUR LIFE! Don't put it off. More women aged over 50 are dying because they left it too late. Don't be one of them!
To read more about why more women over 50 are dying through ignorance about cervical screening tests CLICK HERE.
Please do share this article with your girlfriends. It will be one of the best things you can do for them x

Lots of love to you
Janie S xxx


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