Right, people with a cervix, let’s talk about vaginal health!
Not a usual topic for me, but today I wanted to share my latest escapades and remind you all to think about your cervix.
I am up to date with my cervical smears, but for the past six months I have been having odd symptoms ‘down there’. Bleeding and spotting inbetween periods, bleeding after sex, weird discharge and pain.
I went to my GP who examined me and sent me for further tests. I had swabs for infections that all came back negative and had an ultrasound scan where they looked both at my abdomen and groin and also internally.
From there I was sent for a colposcopy where they found some cell changes in my cervix and an area of bleeding.
We had to talk about the possibility of cervical cancer as well as abnormal CIN cells that could be Pre cancerous. It’s been a few very tense weeks of waiting for results.
I’m over the moon to say that there are no signs of the big C, just some cells that have changed slightly. I am going in to have cryo cauterisation where they’ll remove all those cells and the area that is bleeding.
It was easy to ignore these symptoms, to put the pain down to my IBD and operations. After all, my smears came back normal 2 years ago.
But I did the right thing and got it all checked out, all though it’s been a scary, old time, I’m so glad I did.
According to charity Jo’s Trust, 1.12 million people did not take up their screening invitation in the past year and figures show cervical screening coverage in England is at just 72.7%, meaning one in four women may be at risk of a potentially life-threatening cervical cancer diagnosis.
Please guys, if you have a cervix, then look after it. Go for your regular screenings, they save lives. Check now, yes right now! When was your last smear? Are you up to date? If not, call your doctor and book it in now.
And if you are up to date, but are having any symptoms that aren’t normal for you, then go get it checked. Don’t wait for your next planned smear, do it now.
When you have other illnesses, it’s easy to forget about the rest of your body, or to put symptoms down to your health problems. It’s easy to forget about the regular screenings you should be having when your life is taken up with Drs appointments, meds and treatment. But it’s so important to take care of yourself.
I was terrified that my results were not going to be healthy, that I had cancer and it was going to be terrible. I’m lucky and I am going to have a minor procedure and have no huge concerns.
But even if the news had been that the big C was lurking up there, the sooner it is detected, the better the treatment.
So please, go check your dates and if you’re overdue, get booked in TODAY! And if you have anything not quite right going on, get it checked out.
There are some recognised symptoms associated with cervical cancer that you should be aware of. These include;
- Abnormal bleeding: during or after sexual intercourse, or between periods
- Post menopausal bleeding: if you are not on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or have stopped it for six weeks or more
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
- Lower back pain.
These can all be symptoms of things other than cancer, but they do need to be checked out.
If you are concerned about embarrassment or discomfort, know that the staff are so well trained and understand that it’s not the easiest or most pleasant thing to do, but they aim to put you at ease.
Also if you aren’t cisgender and don’t identify as female but have female genitalia, don’t overlook this important part of your health.
If you’re under 25 and not been called for a smear but have any concerns, call the doctor and speak to them.
If you’re over 65 and aren’t up to date or have issues, call now!
Basically I’m speaking to all your cervix owners! Look after yourself and get checked.
And so this ends your public cervix announcement.