The one where I have a smear test

This week I had a smear test, an event that is surely the highlight of any woman’s calendar? Working from home, I don’t get out much, so when I do I make the most of it, changing into proper clothes, brushing my hair and everything.

“You look nice!” said the nurse as I walked into the room and she ominously locked the door behind me.

“Thanks,” I replied, “I like to make an effort for this kind of thing.”

Minutes later I was lying semi naked on a bed, legs apart, without even having been bought a drink. I think many women get embarrassed by things like smear tests, but when you’ve gone through labour a couple of times, one nurse having a quick rummage around doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

“Have you got any children?” the nurse asked, as she pulled on her latex gloves.

“Yes, I’ve got two,” I said, “can’t you tell?”

Politely ignoring my inappropriate humour, she demonstrated her equipment, and got to work.

“Hmm…,” she said, peering carefully into the darkness, “you’re very tall aren’t you? I can’t seem to find your cervix.”

“I do have one,” I assured her helpfully.

“Stay there,” she said, “I just need to get a longer speculum.” Nice.

With her new longer tool she still wasn’t having any luck. The expression ‘needle in a haystack’ sprung to mind, and I pictured her having to put on a head torch and go all the way in.

“I’m really sorry,” she said, starting to look a bit panicky, “but I still can’t find it. I’m going to have a feel with my fingers. I’m ever so sorry.”

“Don’t worry about me,” I said, “you’re the one at the dodgy end.”

The hands on approach paid off, and the elusive cervix was eventually located. She managed to reach it with the speculum, and reassured me she now had a ‘very good view and everything looked lovely’. I took that as a compliment.

After being shown the fruits of her foraging, I was allowed to put my clothes back on and the door was unlocked. “Call me!” I wanted to say as I left, but I managed to restrain myself. Probably best.

56 Comments

  1. 8 October, 2010 / 11:47 am

    This happens to me every time; I always end up balanced with my arse on my two fists at the edge of the couch so they can get a better view. I suppose I should be grateful that after having a baby my cervix can still be bothered playing hard to get…

    • 8 October, 2010 / 2:16 pm

      lol, love the idea of your cervix being a tease :-)

  2. Debbie
    8 October, 2010 / 11:50 am

    I also had a smear test this week. I absolutely HATE them, even after two children, but this time I was mortified that I had forgotten to shave my legs.

    Go us for actually doing it though!

    • 8 October, 2010 / 2:16 pm

      Oooh I forgot to shave mine too! I took my tights off and said ‘Oh no! I forgot to shave my legs OR paint my toenails!”

  3. 8 October, 2010 / 12:14 pm

    LOL You do crack me up hun! I have a posterior cervix and had a similar experience when I had my smear, she was like man where is it and I suddenly rememberd them finding it hard to get at when I gave birth as well! We clearly like to be difficult!

    • 8 October, 2010 / 2:17 pm

      I like to think of myself as a challenge :-)

  4. 8 October, 2010 / 12:34 pm

    Me too! There are a lot of us about it seems. Nice to give them a challenge!

  5. 8 October, 2010 / 1:46 pm

    Jo, I’m laughing so hard that the cat is looking at me funny!

    Hmmm… maybe it would be easier if a gynecologist did it, rather than a nurse. In the US, the nurse is just the person who stands off to the side in the examining room to vouch for the fact that the doctor didn’t do anything inappropriate, should the question ever arise!

  6. sarah
    8 October, 2010 / 2:35 pm

    At my last smear, I ended up – after 10 minutes of rummaging – on my side with my bottom stuck out and one leg in the air before she could find my cervix!!

    Then she said “there, got it. Although I’m not sure I’ve got enough so you might have to come back” :-0

    • 10 October, 2010 / 8:50 am

      Blimey! Something to look forward to then!

  7. 8 October, 2010 / 3:31 pm

    Ah ha, classic! I too have an elusive cervix which is nice to know. My most hated phrase; ‘Knees together….and relax’

    • 10 October, 2010 / 8:50 am

      It sounds from these comments like EVERYONE has an elusive cervix – perhaps they need to redesign the equipment…

    • 10 October, 2010 / 8:52 am

      Apparently one of Bee’s friends at school read the post and asked Bee ‘why does your mum have such a massive vagina?” I asked Bee to point out it was the position of the cervix that made it tricky – not that the nurse couldn’t find it because it was like a huge cavern or anything…

  8. 8 October, 2010 / 5:00 pm

    Blimey – I’ve never heard of that before. Is it a private club or can anyone join?

  9. 8 October, 2010 / 5:56 pm

    he he he this made me laugh out loud.
    The following is particularly graphic so readers don’t read on if you’re squeamish.
    Last time i had a smear not only did it hurt to high fuckin’ heaven, but she pulled her finger out with an enormous globule of horrible mucously stuff and said “you’r ovulating” as if accusing me of stealing her husband.
    Thanks for that. Next time i’ll tell my ovaries to hang off until the smear is over.

    M2M

    • 9 October, 2010 / 2:33 pm

      That’s when they prefer you go in because your cervix is lower down.

    • 10 October, 2010 / 8:53 am

      Lol – I nearly mentioned in the post about my last smear, when the nurse said ‘hmm… you’re quite mucousy aren’t you?’ – but I thought that might be a bit much :-)

  10. Your Sister
    8 October, 2010 / 7:12 pm

    He he, at my last smear the nurse was conducting the usual rummage when she casually asked ‘do you find your partner hard work?’ I thought, ‘well, he can be a bit loud and sometimes forgets to put the bins out’ before the penny dropped… Wasn’t sure how one was meant to respond to that question really so went for an ‘um’ and then an ‘err’ and then she moved on. It was all a little odd.

    • 10 October, 2010 / 8:54 am

      Hahaha! That made me laugh a lot :-)

  11. 8 October, 2010 / 7:18 pm

    My cervix is apparently tilted down, a really badly behaved one. Practice nurse always acts as if I am DELIBERATELY attempting to make the job more difficult. I am not sure if I am more emotionally scarred by the experience than she is.

    • 10 October, 2010 / 8:55 am

      They have a funny way of making you feel guilty don’t they, as if you have hidden it on purpose.

  12. Kerry
    8 October, 2010 / 7:57 pm

    Wow, your really keeping up with the daily posts! I thought you would have given up by now, I would have :D Always great to read :)

    • 10 October, 2010 / 8:55 am

      I have been on FIRE this week! making up for September, definitely! Let’s see if I can keep it up next week too…

  13. 9 October, 2010 / 6:03 pm

    LMAO. As a nurse though, you do get kind of used to it and doesn’t really bother you.

    • 10 October, 2010 / 8:58 am

      Well exactly, that’s what I try and remember so I don’t feel too awkward – it’s not like the nurse is going to be thinking ‘Oh my God! A woman with no pants on!’ is it?

  14. Ewa Dolhancey
    9 October, 2010 / 7:47 pm

    I had Interesting reaction after reading the bit( got the link from Pampers Newsletter) started by thoughts sort of ” that’s a way too shameless”..and then I started laughing to myself… I will read you more often now. Very good …

    • 10 October, 2010 / 9:00 am

      Haha – I do know what you mean. Sometimes I write things and think ‘hmm… too much information maybe?’ but then I think with something like a smear test, we all go through it don’t we? It’s a health thing, nothing to be ashamed of, and if you can’t laugh, what can you do ? :-)

  15. 9 October, 2010 / 10:21 pm

    How funny, that so many of us have had similar instances! I had a coil put in ecently and was complimented on my tight cevix, she could see I had c-sectiosn as there was no way 3 babes had passed through there!!!

    Really, did I need to know that??

    Mich x

    • 10 October, 2010 / 9:01 am

      Weird isn’t it? No one has commented saying ‘my cervix was very easy to find and the whole process for very straightforward and pleasant…’

      • Charlotte
        3 June, 2015 / 6:47 pm

        I went for my first one today and can say my was easy and straight forward thank god! Nurse also commented on how my cervix just came straight into view and that it’s a good thing lol didn’t know how to respond so just smiled. Couldn’t imagine laying there while she has to hunt for it.

  16. 10 October, 2010 / 7:35 am

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who laughs at innappropriate moments! ;-)

    • 10 October, 2010 / 9:02 am

      I have been known to get the giggles registering a death. You do have to keep a sense of humour about life I reckon…

  17. Nicky Richards
    11 October, 2010 / 10:53 am

    I have just read this at work and now everyone is wondering why i am laughing so much!
    The “call me” bit was hilarious.
    Thanks, as always, for brightening up my day. x

  18. Lauren
    14 October, 2010 / 5:26 pm

    Thanks for reminding me to book in for mine as it’s way overdue… done! I’ll report back after Monday on the elusiveness, or conversely the show-off-iness, of my cervix.

  19. 17 October, 2010 / 8:35 pm

    Lol! You’d think that your being so laid back would make her chuckle!

  20. Lauren
    20 October, 2010 / 8:53 am

    Reporting back as promised… actually ridiculously easy and took about 20 seconds! No comments that I looked nice though. I feel cheated.

    • 24 October, 2010 / 3:59 pm

      Did you make an effort though and dress up nice??

  21. 16 October, 2013 / 6:22 am

    OMG I had exactly the same thing; “you’re very tall, aren’t you, I’ll need a longer one”! Then I ended up having to balance my bum on my balled fists while she dug about trying to find it. Apparently I have a “wonky cervix”. I thought it was just me! I am the epitome of quiet dignity.

    • admin
      16 October, 2013 / 7:59 am

      Ah yes, the bum fist balance – I’ve been there…

  22. 16 October, 2013 / 6:28 am

    I have never had a smear, but now I want to see where my cervix is! :)

    • admin
      16 October, 2013 / 7:59 am

      You’ve never had one?? Well now you have something to look forward to :-)

    • admin
      16 October, 2013 / 7:55 am

      Hahahaha!

  23. Anita Rodgers
    29 September, 2016 / 12:29 pm

    I’ve just had my latest smear and was shocked to find out my cervix had moved. Found only after two nurses rummaging for it!
    I left feeling like a bit of freak, so it’s quite reassuring to read that I’m not on my own!

    • Jo Middleton
      29 September, 2016 / 1:34 pm

      Nope, definitely not just you! I’ve got another test booked in a couple of weeks so we’ll see if they have better luck this time :-)

  24. Yvette
    16 January, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    HI Jo, I’m in hysterics after reading all the previous posts about the dreaded ‘smear’. Hilarious! I’ve just come from my doc and lo and behold my cervix has gone AWOL. too. After much prodding and probing for about 30 awfully uncomfortable minutes the nurse just could not find it. I promised her that it was there and didn’t just decide to take a trip to the Bahamas or something. She tried three different speculums but alas. Nothing. So now I’ve made an appointment with another doc. Lets see if my cervix decides to return ‘home’ by tomorrow.

    • Jo Middleton
      16 January, 2017 / 5:32 pm

      Haha! Perhaps it’s just fallen out? :-)

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