Why You Should Go And Get Your Smear Test

why you should go and get your smear test

Full disclosure – I’ve always been okay after a smear test. I have had two so far in my life and my results have come back normal. Other people I know haven’t been so lucky and have had abnormal results – read a blog post from Jess on her cervical screening experience here. Smear tests are something I believe every woman should get as soon as she is able to. In fact, I think they should be available from when women turn 18 rather than the age of 25 but that’s a whole other story.

I was shocked and appalled at the recent news story that smear tests are at a 20 year low – they are saying that the Jade Goody effect has now long gone. I’m sure we all remember Jade’s battle and the influx of people having smear tests afterwards to hopefully avoid the same fate. Why are we getting complacent again? Do we need someone suffering in the public eye in order to scare us into going? Why aren’t we taking steps to look after our health?

I have friends older than me that still haven’t even been for their first ever smear test. They’ve had babies and are at an age where they could be susceptible to cervical cancer yet won’t go because they are scared. I was scared the first time – I’d heard horror stories from people saying that it hurt but others said it was a minor scratch and that was it. I was nervous, I was scared but there was no chance that I wasn’t going to go for my smear test – a few moments of pain rather than suffering from cancer – I know what I would prefer. I have seen first hand what cancer can do to a person – I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It’s not painful to have a smear test – but even if it was, surely a few moments of pain is much more preferable to constant suffering?

why you should go and get your smear test

Even if you get abnormal results, this doesn’t mean you have cancer or will get cancer. Your smear test can detect abnormal cervical cells which can develop into cancer – but aren’t yet. Catching them early through a cervical screening will thus of course reduce your risk of cancer developing. A cervical screening isn’t a test for cancer, it is a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix. Most women’s test results show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women the test shows some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

Most of these changes won’t lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own but in some cases these cells need to be removed so they can’t become cancerous. There are around 3000 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed each year in the UK.

The whole experience is over in a matter of mere minutes – I would actually say the part that is the most worrying is the time period whilst you are waiting for your results to come back. I recently had my smear test and because of Christmas, my results were delayed getting to me in the post – sometimes that can really get your mind whirring.

My results finally arrived last week letting me know the cells in my sample looked normal and my risk of cervical cancer is very low at this time. It also let me know roughly when I should expect my next screening to be. They also stipulated that if you have certain symptoms in the three years between screenings that you should speak to a GP as soon as possible to rule out anything untoward.

So why should you go and get your smear test?

It could save your life

Finding out about those abnormal cells and getting them removed if required is much better than not knowing about them and having them develop into something worse.

It can give you peace of mind

It is very likely that your results will come back normal. Surely a few minutes of being uncomfortable with your legs akimbo is worth it to know where you stand when it comes to your cervical health.

It may encourage someone else to do the same

I get it – the prospect can seem terrifying, especially when it is your first ever screening. But it isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be – the worst part is having to get everything down there out in front of the nurse more than anything! Whilst I still haven’t persuaded certain friends to go and have their screenings, me going for mine has reminded others to book theirs in which is great.

They really aren’t as bad as some people make out

As with all things, some people will have genuinely bad experiences but we all also know people who over dramatise absolutely everything. Some people will make a smear test sound absolutely torturous when it is anything but. If anything, it is a small scratch to your cervix and feeling a little bit uncomfortable for a minute or two. THAT’S IT. Nothing more, nothing less – and really nothing to be worried about.

I’ve just recently had mine but will be ready to book mine in again in 2020 when my next one is due. Have you ever had a cervical screening/smear test? Are you as shocked at the figures as I am?

Get Your Skates on and Get Fit in 2018

The new year is a time when many make resolutions and one of the most popular is to endeavour to get fit. Gym profits take off and sales of protein shakes go through the roof. While running, aerobics and palates may be flavour of the day, they are not everyone’s cup of tea, so something a little more unusual may be what they are looking for. Here we take a look at four ways to keep fit on skates.

Ice Hockey

At the highest level, ice hockey is a physical sport that is fast and furious. Teams of six players pit their wits and skills against each other and the goal is to put the “puck” into the opposing teams net. In the UK, ice hockey is more popular than you would imagine and clubs can be found up and down the country. To play ice hockey, you will need a good pair of skates, protective pads and helmet and of course a hockey stick.

 Terry Matthews

Ice Skating

Perhaps the most graceful of sports, ice skating is fantastic for your core strength and all round fitness. Whether taken seriously, where entering competitions and wearing fancy costumes is what it is all about, or enjoyed as a day out with family and friends, ice skating is terrific fun.

All you need to take part is skates, which can be bought, but novices can borrow a pair, free of charge, when they turn up at the local rink. Oh and don’t forget to wrap up warm.

Inline skating

Those who feel the need for speed may want to explore the world of inline skating. Here skaters wear specially designed rollerblades and use them to race around a track – those with the most strength, skill and speed and who cross the finish line first are the winners.

Inline skating is closely associated with a number of other sports, such as vert skating and freestyle skating – all of which demand the need for protective headgear and pads.

Roller Derby

The somewhat crazy sport of roller derby involves two teams, each comprising of five members and it is a contact sport on roller skates. The object of the sport is simple, the team who lap their opponents the most after completing a predetermined number of laps around a track wins.

Roller derby is not for the faint hearted as players are allowed to block and push opponents and catapult their own players forward to take an advantage.

With so many options to choose from you’d be mad not to get your skates on and get fit in 2018.



Being Open About Your Health & Knowing Where To Turn


Some people don’t seem to have any health problems but for the majority of us, we have at least one thing. Being open about our health, especially when things go wrong, is so important. Open communication can help save our lives if needs be – why wouldn’t you be open about your health?

It is also important to be completely open in a medical situation. In most medical situations, your notes will be right there in front of your GP or someone at the hospital but if it is an emergency, sometimes they will need to act fast. Being upfront about any problems you may have will hopefully prevent any accidents happening that could have been avoided. We’ve all heard the stories about people being given antibiotics or medicine that they are allergic to and something untoward happening – of course, medical notes should be checked in the very first instance but mentioning any allergies or conditions to medical professionals OR at the very least having previously communicated your health problems with friends and family should help to avoid something like this happening. These accidents do happen unfortunately – but that doesn’t mean that you need to let them slide by.

Are you open about any or all of your health issues? Everyone in my friends and family knows I have been diagnosed with asthma and hayfever, among other things. They know I’ve had operations before and what for. They know what I am allergic to. This means that should I ever be in a position that I can’t verbalise my existing medication or conditions someone can do it for me.

Daan Stevens

This has proved very helpful in the case of my father before he passed away – knowing exactly what medication he was on, what dosages and what conditions he had made it much easier when he was admitted into hospital.

Unfortunately my family has also been in the situation where medical negligence nearly caused my Nan’s death. She has never wanted to take it further in the form of complaints and compensation but she was admitted to our local hospital with a very minor infection and was given 10+ times the dosage of medication she should have been given. Her liver started to fail, she was jaundiced and was rushed to the Royal Free with the outlook not looking good at all. Luckily she is still with us today but it was a terrifying time and a mistake that should never have been made.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers are there for when things go wrong. If you believe you have a case for clinical or medical negligence, then they can help you and aid you in claiming if you wish to do so. I’ve been quite lucky in my medical history and never had anything go properly wrong but I know plenty of people that have. Some people choose not to proceed with any claim despite being entitled to something and others decide to claim. It is entirely up to you and it is important you know that there are people to turn to.

Are you open about your health? Are there people you trust with this information should they ever need to use it?


5 Ways To Ensure You Have A Healthy Start To The New Year

Collaborative Post

Nearly all of us make resolutions that we are going to be healthier for the year ahead – but how many of us actually keep to it? However if we get a healthy start to the new year, perhaps it may just stand us in good stead for the other eleven months. Here are five ways you can ensure you have a healthy start to the new year.

Drink More Water

Water is so good for us. It’s good for our skin and our eyes and it keeps us hydrated. Many people are quite dehydrated after celebrating for too long on New Year’s Eve so drinking plenty of water will probably start for most people on the 1st. Why not continue it throughout the year? Make sure to have a certain amount of water every day and you are sure to see some differences occurring.

Cut Out The Bad Stuff

Now you don’t need to cut things out completely but by making some small changes to your diet, you will notice a difference. I went from white bread to wholemeal and now barely touch bread at all and now feel a lot better for it. Whilst I am keen to give up fizzy drinks in general, I swapped full fat for zero or diet and now can’t stand the taste of sugary drinks. I cut out sugar in my tea, tried sweetener in it and didn’t like it so now have tea with no sugars.

I’ve even noticed that we as a family have started to have quite a few meat free meals and I am enjoying it – even Steve isn’t complaining! Just by making some small changes there can be some big differences.

Nick Hillier

Giving Your Eyes A Break When They Need Them

It surprises me just how many people risk their visual health. It is so important to rest and give your eyes a break when they need them. I wear glasses pretty much all of the time and I always know when I need to give my eyes a rest as they will start to ache and I will probably start to get a headache. Others choose to use their contacts over their glasses and sometimes, just sometimes, we need to give our eyes a break from them and use our glasses instead. You know your own eyes, why not look after them better?

I know I am in need of an eye test so will be looking to get one soon, but Vision Direct also have some great resources and tips on how to keep your eyes healthy.

Take Time To Relax

Stress is a killer so it is vital you take some time to relax at some point. It can be tempting to keep going to make sure everything gets done but if you are running on empty, both your physical and mental health can take a hit. Don’t do it to yourself. Take heed of the signs you need to take a break and actually take it.

Fresh Air Can Do You The World Of Good

Don’t get cooped up in your house or workplace – make sure you get out in the fresh air too. It is good for us and walking also helps you to get a little fitter. If you drive those five minutes down the road, walk instead. Not only are you helping yourself physically but you will be helping yourself financially as you won’t be wasting money on fuel for unnecessary trips.

Have you had a healthy start to the new year? Do you have any tips?

Getting Fit In 2018

As soon as it hits Boxing Day, I am back in the zone. I may even avoid having a drink on New Year’s Eve. I have got far too complacent about my eating and my fitness routine and literally this year has been a total washout. I’ve put on a lot of weight – although not all in one go quite quickly but spread across the year (this still isn’t great though) and I’ve barely done any exercise for months.

I know that I am getting a new Fitbit as my joint Christmas and birthday present from Steve and he is getting a smartwatch and some new golf shoes from me and the kids for his. We are both keen to get back on track and start eating much more healthily and doing exercise again.

I’ve been looking into buying some home fitness equipment now that we are planning on moving into a bigger house. I recently found Fitness Savvy, the UK’s first fitness price comparison site and this has been such a handy resource when trying to find suitable fitness equipments for us that are also in our price range. There are a fantastic range of exercise bikes for your cardio needs and also some great weightlifting equipment such as dumbbells.

Fitness Savvy has only recently launched and I actually can’t believe it hasn’t been done before – it is such a great idea, especially when people will soon be looking to get fit as a New Year’s resolution. I know I am – and I am so keen I am starting a week earlier!

Cyril Saulnier

In the UK, we spend over £400 million per year on supplements, and nearly as much on fitness equipment for our home gyms. Spotting a gap in the market in January 2017, Fitness Savvy founder, Robin Young, got right to work with fixing this unusual situation. The site lists thousands of fitness products and you can even filter by nutritional content such as your protein, carbs or fat. You can really filter down to find what suits you needs – you can even filter the nutritional products by macro ratios of required.

There are multiple products listed on the site and there are even some taste tests and embedded video reviews so customers can see what the products are like before they buy. Even when they come to buy, Fitness Savvy houses the latest discount and voucher codes from the world’s biggest brands and retailers.It really is a one stop shop for all your fitness needs.

So what can you buy from Fitness Savvy? There is a huge range of supplements – and a massive £1000 giveaway going on right now for some so visit their website or Facebook page for more info. They also cater for a wide variety of sports and activities from cardio exercises to strength training to bodybuilding. If you think of a sport, not matter how diverse or obscure, you will probably find it. There is also a Fitness Education area where there are in depth and scientifically researched articles on health and fitness so customes can learn more when on the site about the products they are thinking about buying. This is a great resource and I have learned a lot. There is also their ground breaking protein calculator which contains more data than other online calculators.
With both Steve and I keen to get back on track in 2018, I am sure I will be continually heading back to the site for both information and products. I am yet to find such a handy resource for all my health and fitness questions.

Are you planning on getting back on track in 2018? Would you use a site like Fitness Savvy?