Basically I'm hoping someone can share their experience with me. I'm 25 years old and I'm a size 22/24. I received my letter at the end of last year to go for a smear test and I have yet to respond to it. But 3 weeks ago I started spotting and it has been continuous ever since, normally my periods are regular as clockwork and I've never had spotting before. I know I need to go get it checked out, but honestly I'm petrified! I'm really not a fan of doctors, never have been even as a child. But because this is a personal matter I know I should go, but I just can't seem to bring myself to do it. I've read some horrible stories online of large women getting ridiculded at these things. I'm generally confident with myself but the idea of exposing myself even to a doctor is so scary!
I know this is something all women have to go through and everyone has their own hang ups, but is there any larger women out there who can share their experience with me, I really just need some reassurance.
Hi Leanne, welcome to the forum. I know exactly how you feel but please please dont let your size put your health at risk, amongst many other things my weight (size 20) was one issue that kept me from having screening for many years. when I did eventually pluck up the courage to go it was litterally just in the nick of time and I would hate anybody to have to go through the same thing.
All the staff I have encountered have been brilliant and never once did I feel ill treated or disrespected for any reason, once they found a problem all they wanted to do was get me clear of abnormal cells and I was never made to feel embarrassed or ashamed due to my size. The amount of body you have to show is really only the lower half of your legs, a cover over your lower half protects your modesty and when they get down to business its all done very discreetly, yes its embarassing and not very dignified but I honestly didnt feel that exposed if you know what I mean, visions of laying there naked from the waist down exposed to the whole world honestly isnt how it actally happens. One very helpful tip I got was to wear a long skirt as you can leave that on which helps to lessen any 'exposed' feelings and you can keep it over your upper thighs.
There have been a few stories of horrible nurses passing comments that are disrespectful, well unfortunatley there are horrible people in the world and some of them happen to work for the NHS. If you are unlucky enough to encounter one of them you have the right to refuse to see them again and complain like hell as they shouldnt be allowed to get away with behaving like that.
I hope you find the courage to go get checked out, ignoring things wont make them go away and your health is more important than anything, it may also help to have a chat with the practice nurse who may be able to help reassure you, mine was brilliant.
Hi Leeanne, I haven't been in exactly the same situation so I can't reply directly. However, in the past I had a few problems of a personal nature 'down there' (not smear related) a few years ago and I saw a horrible doctor who was very abrupt, dismissive and judgemental. The only saving grace was I took a friend with my for my appointments and she acted as a buffer between us and some moral support to me. Have you got anyone you can ask to go with you to your appointment? Double check with your surgery but it should be fine to take someone in with you :) x