Every three years a letter arrives on my door step that I dread. It is one of those letters that I read and put off, then the reminder comes and whilst I know it is in my best interest to go, I hate going. I have a huge fear of going for a cervical smear test. Now you may call me silly, but I find them embarrassing. I hate lying there legs open whilst I get prodded and poked with metal and then scraped by someone I do not know. I find the whole experience uncomfortable and afterwards I bleed and have incredibly bad stomach pains. Sometimes they are not able to perform the test and then I have to make another appointment to go back.
I know other women have no problems and no issues but for me it is uncomfortable and embarrassing. I will always go no matter how uncomfortable, cervical cancer is the 13th most common cause of cancer death amongst women in the UK. However if caught early it has a high survival rate. The most common cause of cancer in Europe, over 74% of cases, is the HPV virus HPV16 and HPV18. The current smear test detects abnormal changes in the cervix and not cancer or the HPV virus. Yet there is a new test available, GynaeCheck, which tests for the presence of HPV.
GynaeCheck can be administered in your own home, you can do the test yourself and at a time which suits you. A cervical cancer screening test that you can do yourself in your own home and which takes seconds to perform. No more embarrassment. I attended the launch and listened to Dr Pixie Mckenna talk about the test and learnt about HPV.
I ordered a GynaeCheck to see the packaging that it arrives in and it is really discreet, a simple cardboard box with no labelling I actually thought it was a DVD I had ordered! Inside is everything you need the test, a return envelope and instructions. Instructions are clear and simple and the test is very easy to perform. The test works by taking a fluid sample, you insert the test into your vagina press the button on the end to release the fluid and then release the button which sucks back the fluid test is then complete. The fluid is then placed into the provided test tube and returned for testing.
Free tests are offered if the test is contaminated or collected in correctly. Test results are returned and if positive details of the next steps are discussed. Tests should be performed every 2 years. Each test costs £129 or GynaeCheck+ costs £149 which also included the test for Chlamydia.
For someone like me who really dislikes the current cervical smear test this is a fantastic alternative, so easy to do and with no pain and no bleeding. £129 over two years works out at just over £5 a month, which for a test that can save a life is fantastic and well worth it. A fantastic alternative that can help to save lives!
I was invited to a morning to learn about GynaeCheck and also sent a kit to try. All words are my own opinion.