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Interview 16

Age at interview: 53
Brief Outline: Normal smear test results. Experience of an inadequate smear.
Background: Legal secretary; divorced, 1 child.

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She describes her experience of a painful test using the conventional method of cervical screening.

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She describes her experience of a painful test using the conventional method of cervical screening.

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The last time I had one done, very nice the nurse, it's nothing to do with the nurse herself but she had a great difficulty in inserting the instrument, so much so that I was left for quite a, well it seemed like ages but I'm sure it was only a minute or two. And she said "Well I haven't quite got it right but I want to do it, get it right because I don't want it to have to come back and say you've got to go and have another one done. So she did insert it higher and it was an awful, very, very painful experience for me, very painful. And I should say the most painful one I've had done. And, anyway when it was finished she said "Well I hope I've taken enough," and then it wasn't that long afterwards, probably only 2 or 3 weeks afterwards I got a letter back from the hospital saying that there wasn't enough cells taken would I make an appointment to have another one done. Meanwhile after having the one done with the nurse I bled for about 2 to 3 days afterwards. Again an experience I've never had before when I've had them done. I have to say that I don't find them pleasant, I normally find them painful but nothing like this last one or I don't normally bleed afterwards because I've finished my periods now.

 

Encourages others not to be put off by painful cervical screening test experiences.

Encourages others not to be put off by painful cervical screening test experiences.

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It just I think pulls you up short to say "Well you're, no one is really that safe," and how important whatever your experience of having a smear test done, how important it is to go and have them done and get over that fear, you've got to get over that fear if it's, because you're only going to be worried if it's, supposing one comes back you might have thought to yourself if I'd have gone a year earlier may be that wouldn't have happened to me. So I think whatever the experiences women do need to say, explain the circumstances to your doctor, your clinic, wherever you're going if you've had a bad experience and just be reassured before you have the next one done that they are looking at you when you're telling them and that they're really taking it on board but don't let it stop you going to have one done because it's just not worth it, the worry just is not worth it. I've seen her go through it and it's, and she had regular ones. Nobody is exempt, I realise that but I think my advice to other women who've gone through a bad experience is don't let it put you off because you just don't want to be in a position of a result coming back just because you may have delayed it and you could have stopped it.

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