Why you shouldn’t put off cervical screening

November 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 7 Comments
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The busy young woman left work half an hour early and battled through the 4.30pm town traffic to get to her GP surgery.

She arrived, confirmed her appointment with the receptionist and popped to the ladies to ‘freshen up’ and spend a penny before she was seen by the nurse. The woman grumbled at the state of the surgery facilities; never any toilet paper. She fished around in her handbag and found a clean tissue.

She’d barely sat down in the waiting room and picked up a 2008 copy of Woman’s Own before she was called through to the green treatment room.

The same nurse who she’d seen three years ago welcomed her warmly, chatting – babbling almost, to cause a distraction from the task in hand. The woman chatted back absent-mindedly, trying to recall whether she had actually got the mince out of the freezer or should stop in at Tesco on her way home to get something.

The woman dutifully went behind the curtain, removed her lower garments and positioned herself comfortably on the bed; a square of disposable paper towelling covering her.

She took a deep breath, trying to swallow down her pride and waited for the inevitable ‘now just bring your knees up for me and let them gently fall to the sides’. However many times you do it, even after childbirth, it still feels slightly weird.

She saw the nurse pick up the speculum and thought back to the days when they were metal rather than plastic. These days it was far less intrusive and uncomfortable at least. The woman tried to put her mind in other places but couldn’t help but notice the frown on the nurses face.

She continued to examine the woman more closely and then reached for a dish and some tweezers. A sense of unease rose in the woman.

Shortly afterwards the examination was complete and she was free to get dressed and go home.

After dressing and thanking the nurse (although it felt a little odd to thank someone for carrying out such a procedure), she glanced over to the sink where the little dish was now resting.

And in that dish, she saw a postage stamp. A little blue second class stamp, with the Queen’s face looking studiously out.

Her mind darted back to the tissue she’d retrieved from her bag when using the toilet. Initially, a wave of relief came over the woman when she realised it was nothing untoward making the nurse frown, but she still scuttled out, a little red-faced. Her husband would fine this hysterical.

It’s fine to moan that you have to pick dirty socks from the floor every day. It’s fine to moan that you have to take the bins out every week. It’s fine to moan that your pay cheque vanishes before you get a look in every month.

But a cervical smear test is but once every three years. It takes a matter of minutes and is not painful. It could save your life.

Just don’t use a tissue from the bottom of your handbag beforehand…

This didn’t happen to me but it’s one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard and makes me smile every time I tell it.

You will be pleased to know that this is not a sponsored post. I did not receive a special blogger smear in return for writing this.

Image courtesy of Walt Stoneburner Flickr Creative Commons



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  1. I was expecting some really sad ending – it was hilarious. Very well written and it does make you think. I will check when mine next is. -HMx

  2. I so totally saw you all the way through that and I know that its something you would do!
    I nearly choked on my chilli!

    • Everything all the way through is my experience from this Monday – apart from the stamp!
      And more importantly, chilli again?!

  3. I too was expecting a sad ending so chuffed that it wasn’t. One of my previous work colleagues once told me she freshened up before the same appointment with what she thought was deodorant only to find it was glitter spray! Thats what you call dressing for the occasion..

    On a serious note, its well worth the 15 minutes of embarrasment to know your lady bits are all ok.

  4. Hehe that is funny!! Definitely agree that cervical smears are a mist for every woman!!! A few mins of embarrassment can save your life.

  5. I remember hearing that story it’s very funny. What an embarrassment. x

  6. Hilarious. And also the sort of thing I would do. *blushes*

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