ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Women, It's Time to Take Responsibility for Ourselves

Updated on September 23, 2018
jlpark profile image

Jacqui is an RCompN in NZ, with 16+ years of experience. She writes on a number of health topics that she has experience in.

We look after everyone else, it's time to start looking after ourselves!

As women, we tend to look after others before we look after ourselves - our family, our children, our friends, our workmates, the pets, the children's pets, work issues, the bills, cleaning, paying the bills, feeding and clothing our families etc etc! Yet, we always put ourselves last. Talk to any woman who has struggled to pay the bills - forgoing food so her children can eat - and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Yet, at some point, we need to take some time to look after ourselves, as without us, everyone else will apparently fall over! It's not a coincidence that the Nursing profession (a caring profession) is predominantly female orientated - though in saying that male nurses are awesome too!. It's no coincidence that Early Childhood Education teachers are often female, or teachers. All jobs that mean we are putting others before ourselves.

It's time, ladies!

Today, and for a few more hubs, I'm going to be talking about what I know - Cervical Screening. I'm happy to answer any questions about what I have written, and welcome all!

Disclaimer:I am NOT a Doctor. I am a health professional, however, all information/suggestions are only that.

Cervical Screening - Pap Smears - Cervical Smear

In many countries, there is a Cervical Screening Programme in place for women between certain ages. These ages have come from careful planning and research within governments, health professionals, and science. The reason that these ages differ from country to country due to needs, resources, and prevalence.

For example, it is unethical to provide a screening service for Cervical Changes/Cancer if your country does not have the resources to treat any changes/cancers that are found. So for some countries it's a case of need in a particular population group - for example Cervical screening is reported to start at 25yrs of age in England, yet is 20yrs of age in New Zealand, most likely because of need, resources, ethics, and rates of Cervical Cancer.

New Zealand has the distinction of being the only country in the world (at present) that has Cervical Screening written into it's legislation. Most other countries either do not have screening, or their screening is not legislated - does not have to be offered. This has come about due to the Cartwright Enquiry - of which you can read more in the links offered later.

What is it?

A cervical smear is a simple procedure. It is recommended to women who have had sexual intercourse, once they turn a certain age (NZ = 20yrs, England = 25yrs etc).

You usually make an appointment with your General Practioners nurse, or your GP. The best time is about 2 weeks after your period has finished. You will be asked some questions around your gynaecological history - how many children, how many pregnancies, any unusual bleeding (post-coital, inter-menstrual, post-menopausal), your last period date, some places may ask about family violence (NZ - we do), and a few other questions - your current relationship etc. They should also explain what they will be doing, and offer you STI swabs should you wish to have them done at the same time

Then you will be asked to get changed into either a gown, or given a sheet to cover your lower half. Often you will be given a curtain to change behind, some times there is a room for you. You will then be asked to hop onto the bed, and either lie down on your back with your feet together, or your left side with your knees drawn up (Left Lateral).

The nurse/dr SHOULD explain to you as they are doing anything, giving you warning before they touch you, tell you where they will be touching you, and when they are inserting the speculum into your vagina.


Speculum

Source

And then?

After finding your cervix - the small bumpy looking thing at the internal end of the speculum in the picture - which is actually the neck of your uterus, the nurse/doctor will take either a brush or spatula designed solely for the purpose of smears and brush this around on your cervix - there is usually a tip that gently goes inside the little hole in your cervix, or sometimes a very soft brush.

In different countries, there is Liquid Based Cytology where these brushes are 'swished' in, or cut into (cutting the tip of the brush) the solution and this solution is sent to the lab. Other countries still use "conventional" smears were the cells are 'smeared' on a slide and 'fixed' to the slide with a special spray/solution to aid in preserving the cells until they get to the lab.

Then, the nurse/gp will gently remove the speculum, and IT's ALL OVER!

Not too hard huh?

But I'm a lesbian, do I need one?

Yes. Usually. If you, or your partner, has EVER had sex with a man - then, yes, you do.

The only women who do not need a smear are those who have never had sex.

Don't put it off, ladies, your health depends on it.


© 2012 Jacqui

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)