This week is cervical cancer awareness week and so the dreaded Smear is top of mind. Let’s face it, nobody likes getting it done but nonetheless it’s so important for all women from the age of 25 and we are lucky to live in a country where there is great free screening.

I was always the worst offender for dodging my smear tests, using pregnancies and every excuse i could think of to get out of it. I even waited until my last day of being 25 to get my first test done. I’m not alone though, i recently learnt that a very level-headed friend gets herself so worked up about it that she has to take valium beforehand.

Over the last few years, i have developed a little routine that has really made the process more bearable and i really don’t dread it as much anymore. Here are my top tips:

  1. Book your free smear in a clinic or GP surgery that you don’t go to,i find the anonymity helps. There is nothing worse than your GP/nurse asking after your Ma whilst she’s scraping your cervix to make the whole experience even more awkward.
  2. Book your test for first thing in the morning and on a day that you are really busy and have lots on. That way you will have it over first thing in the morning, and if you have lots on you will be distracted by all the other things that you have to do after the test.
  3. Take a couple of paracetamol 40 mins before your appointment.
  4. Pop a few drops of rescue remedy on your tongue just before you go into your appointment.
  5. Once the test starts, get your yogic breathing going. Take a really slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through through your mouth. Focus on those nice, loud and noisy breaths and before you know it the test will be over.
  6. Enjoy the nice smug feeling that it’s over and that if the results are clear you are off the hook for a couple of years.
  7. Buy yourself a treat afterwards, i usually opt for chocolate.

If you are overdue a test or not sure when your next one is, you can check and book one easily on www.cervicalcheck.ie .

Go on, just do it and get it over and done with!

Dublin Mummy x

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