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Why a smear is not the best way to begin the day

Elizabeth Kesses
By Elizabeth Kesses Published on 5 September 2011

I cannot stand anything gynaecological. Even the word gives me shivers - ‘Gynae’ conjures up butcher-style women in white coats rolling up their sleeves.

Why a smear is not the best way to begin the day

I also had had various hideous tests about five years ago - including pumping up my bladder with water - so I get sweatily scared every time I have to have a smear.

The only thing that gets me through is telling myself jokes - how does the gynaecologist enter his home? Through the letter box. Haha. In the UK, the national health service smears are pretty grim. Originally one was impaled with a metal implement that was cold and painful. A short while ago this implement of torture was replaced by a huge plastic device... and not the fun kind.

I had one smear test when my Dad was really ill. Bad, bad, bad idea. I must have been so stressed as the nurse asked if I had vaginitis - a stress related sex disorder! As if! But I honestly thought she was going to rip me in two.

This hideous memory was still fresh as I sat in the waiting room of the French gynae fidgeting and trying to relax my 'inner' muscles.

The doctor, however, was reassuring and the procedure nothing like the UK. They use a much smaller speculum.

The doctor he even massaged my stomach and declared that I had an upturned and bulky uterus. Bulky?! Great! It sounded anything but elegant.

He sent me off for a scan to check for fibroids. Again joy of joys.

While I was getting checked out "down there", I thought I'd take the opportunity to also be checked for fertility.

Nowadays you can have your blood tested to see how rich your ovum supply is. A bit like looking at a box of eggs in the fridge and knowing there’s still three in the box. My beau was going to have a sperm count. Or rather a mobility test.

What is the biological equivalent of a fitness test - do they have to do mini push ups or sprints? His three kids made his investigation more a formality but never the less, he obliged.

After this ordeal, I, fortunately, had a lunch with a girl I'd met at one of the infamous media soirees. I could not wait to unload and she was great about it.

Her sister had got pregnant after five years of trying. They had been through all the tests and decided to give up on the scientific stuff. It was then that she had fallen pregnant.

I chomped through my veal escalope thoughtfully. It was odd to be eating baby cow as I mused over having a sprog. Everything in me said that we should wait for divine timing rather than mess with nature.

It made sense that now was not the right time - a wedding in September, acting, writing, YSL size 8 clothes unworn...

However, the old wives tales were suggesting the wait wouldn't be all that long. My oldest school friend had just had a little baby girl, I saw three magpies the other day. Three for a girl, four for a boy. Three clairvoyants had said a girl was coming to me too.

Three, that's the magic number!

Eeek. The signs were everywhere. I headed to the gym for a hardcore workout whilst I still could.


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by Elizabeth Kesses

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