There is nothing more wonderful about being a female human being than the joyous occasion of the smear test.

Yes. I’m being sarcastic.

A smear test: when your vagina is winched open and your cervix is swabbed. YAY! Fun for all.

GUILTY FACE. I was long overdue a smear. Hadn’t had one in AAAAAAGES. Thought I should probably have one done. They’re important. THEY MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE BEEN PUNCHED IN THE VULVA, but they’re important.

This is what I worried about prior to the actual smear test:

  • what if my undercarriage smells? 
  • what if I guff in the doctor’s face by accident?
  • what if the doctor loses a speculum up there?
  • what if the doctor finds a colony of womb spiders?
  • what if the doctor recoils in horror at the sight of my untamed muff?
  • what if the doctor refuses to administer the smear test on the grounds of a cruel and unusual vaginal display?
  • my vagina’s OK, right?
  • I mean, it FEELS OK. I haven’t actually looked properly in a while. I’m assuming it’s OK. DOES MY VAGINA LOOK OK?
  • oh my GOD what if my vagina doesn’t look like a vagina any more?
  • would the doctor even say if my vagina didn’t look OK?
  • or would they just secretly add it to a list of Odd Vaginas and post it on the internet?
  • should I google Odd Vaginas, just in case?

I’m pretty sure the doctor has seen A LOT of vaginas in her line of work. She kind of had the face of someone who’d seen A HECK OF A LOT of vaginas. And not in a good way.

She was quite curmudgeonly. I felt sorry for her, but then felt annoyed, because I wanted someone chirpy and bright and POSITIVE to bring me out of my worried funk. Someone to put me at ease. Not a ‘oh fuck, here’s another vagina’-faced doctor. I should have had a ‘YAY VAGINA!’ doctor. All gynaecological doctors should come with a YAY VAGINA! qualification.

But I’m being unfair. She was good at the smeary stuff. If ‘good’ means ‘shove a speculum in this front bottom and wrench those walls wide so’s I can shine a light on your secret juicy parts and poke around a bit’. Which is essentially what a smear test entails.

It’s UNCOMFORTABLE. It’s not unbearable, though. Just when you think you REALLY REALLY DON’T WANT TO DO THIS any more, she whips the speculum out and it’s over. I found out I have something HORRENDOUS sounding called CERVICAL EROSION (or ectropion) which made me want to go ‘AAAAAAAAAARRGHHHHHH WHAT WHAAAAAT OMFG  MY CERVIX IS ERODING WHAAAAAAAT?’ for a minute until she explained it was quite common and not weird or dangerous or anything. Phew.

Anyway, obvs I have to wait for the results to see if I do have anything weird or dangerous, which is a whole different kind of worried funk now. But at least I’d KNOW, and can then do something about it, if needs be.

SMEAR TESTS ARE SO FUCKING IMPORTANT. Just DO ONE. Sure, they’re disagreeable and faintly embarrassing but how else are you going to know whether your cervix is peachy or not?

And if you’re lucky, you’ll get a YAY VAGINA! doctor.

I’ll say it one more time: YAY VAGINA!

And: get a fucking smear test done.

This has been a public service blog post, sponsored by my eroded cervix. You’re welcome.

Should I google Odd Vaginas?


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  1. Elaine Livingstone

    No it has to be up there with mammograms, no fun but essential. Have to say I prefer a male doctor for it to a female as I find them slightly gentler than the females. At least your bowel screeing is done in the privacy of your own bathroom.

  2. Aedin

    Urgghhhh-there can’t be any worse a two word combination in the English language than smear test. Well, there probably can be, but not much worse!!!I had that cervical erosion malarkey during my last pregnancy due to elevated hormone levels. Made sex a bit uncomfortable but apart from that, not a big deal at all and it cleared up after I gave birth-by which time sex had graduated to oh so very uncomfortable status. :(

  3. Canvas & Thread

    this really made me LOL when you started the questioning, i do the exact same thing before having one done, which i did recently. But no, dont google odd vaginas, id imagine it would be traumatic, more so than being winched open again!

  4. Michelle k

    I downloaded your book this morning and I’m already half finished which makes me sad because it’s brilliant and I want it to go on forever, I love your writing. Then occurred that it’s a blog and it does, happy days.
    While reading it I couldn’t help want to be friends with you(not in a stalker way but a caitlin moran imaginary friends with amy winehouse way) and tell you it does get better xx

  5. M T McGuire

    I’ve just discovered your blog via Michael Cargill, yes, that’s right, you can blame him for the rash of crap comments. This made me laugh and laugh. So much that I’m worried a little bit of wee may have come out. I loathe having a smear test but at least last time they ran the speculum under hot water first. Warm speculum. Good but not as good as odd vaginas.

    • motherventing

      The phrase ‘warm speculum’ just made my cervix shudder. And not in a good way. The sooner I can avoid any more speculums, the better. SPECULUM. Urgh.

      Thank you for the comments and for reading my blog. Glad I made you laugh. Mr C is a loyal cult member so I shall reward him accordingly.

  6. Pam I

    My friend had one the other day. She’s of an undisclosed age but is ‘over 50+’. The nurse told her she has the vulva of a forty-year -old. Now that’s a compliment.

  7. lyndajanepurcell

    ‘Colony of womb spiders’ !!!! ARF! And that moment where you’re lying on your back, giant beer bottle opener coming at you like Thunderbird 2 and the doctor says: ‘Just relax’.

  8. Mum2BabyInsomniac

    Have you ever had a coil? Think smear but much more uncomfortable and for a much longer length of time. I had my first one after Iyla then it took four people to each try and get it out and I’ve recently had another one put in which hurt even more than the first one! The things we have to go through, but yes they are so very worth it xx

    • motherventing

      No, not had the coil, although my GP did suggest it as an alternative contraceptive to the Pill. Must admit, the thought of insertion/removal would put me of A LOT. Four people? FOUR PEOPLE?? Man alive xx

      • Canvas & Thread

        the doc attempted to fit me with one, she had to hold me down on the bed before giving up, man it was painful so i stuck with the pill. my womb clearly dislikes odd shaped object being crammed in there!

  9. daddyofG (@daddyofG)

    I love the word guff – never fails to make me laugh – I miss it – it’s not used enough. Other than that I hated this post for making me cringe in a ‘my almost-sister-type-person is talking about her vag’ kind of a way.

  10. speccy

    Just yesterday, I had one of the ‘what comes next’ appointments- just like a smear but with added clamps, binoculars & biopsies. I needed this laugh :)
    I may not be able to resist googling now….

  11. adventurewithcarys

    I had my first ‘invitation’ for this a few months ago which means I must be a big girl now I’m being invited to big girl things haha.
    I’ve not got round to going yet but will get booked in – good public service post x

  12. PieAndBear

    Smears are indeed hideous but vair important. From someone who’s had not so peachy results back x

    Am off to google ‘blue waffle’ now …

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