This article is one for the LADIES! About a month or so ago, I was fortunate to have attended a Cervical Cancer Awareness event hosted at London’s trendy Vegan eatery Tanya’s Cafe to learn all things cervical screening whilst also getting an exclusive preview of Gynaecheck; the UK’s first Smear Test Home Testing Kit. The itinerary included a detailed insightful presentation into the myth’s and actual facts surrounding the procedure by none other than Dr Pixie McKenna (as seen on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies) with guest speakers from Jo’s Trust.
Our intimate group of health and wellness bloggers and industry writer’s learnt a phenomenal amount that morning and found myself utterly shocked to learn that Cervical Cancer is the most common type of cancer in women under the age of 35 (my generation and younger). It is even more alarming to learn that approximately 3,100 women are unfortunately diagnosed with this disease EVERY YEAR in UK!
It literally frightens the living daylights out of me when gaining a glimpse into the statistics of women who do not follow up with their smear test appointments, the main reasons being either too embarrassed or the fear of the test being too painful.
I am honoured to be using this very site and related social media platforms alongside some other awesome Health Bloggers to help create awareness surrounding the importance for ladies to complete smear test. Should you fall into the category of avoiding a smear test for whatever your reason may be, the GynaeCheck could be just what you are looking for!
What is GynaeCheck?
GynaeCheck is a revolutionary home testing smear test kit developed by gynaecologists in the Netherlands and is designed to detect cervical cancer. This newly launched test will offer woman in the UK who have purposely been putting off this health check with another alternative to the rather evasive smear tests usually carried out at ones local GP and Health Centres.
GynaeCheck allows the user to conduct a smear test in the privacy and comfortable surroundings of their own homeand comes in a discreet package.
As part of the event, those in attendance were each given the opportunity to try the Gynaecheck home kit before its official launch nationwide in September 2015 but due to my current condition (I promise to enlighten you about this at a later date please god) I called upon my trusted friend and writer Sasha Shantel of In-Spire LS Magazine to test it on my behalf for you lovely lot.
I will now leave you in her capable hands as she shares her thoughts and experiences regarding the GynaeCheck Home Testing Kit and smear tests completed within a doctor’s surgery….
GynaeCheck Review by Sasha Shantel
I wrote on the subject of Smear Testing a number of years ago as I was dismayed to see so many women not going to have the procedure done. Of course, for those under 21; there are a number of GP’s that refuse to carry out the procedure citing being too young as the factor. However; I can proudly say that my local GP service offered me the smear testing service once they had learned I was sexually active and I honestly believe that this has contributed to my assurance that I will not get cervical cancer.
Saying that; and as Danielle previously pointed out at the beginning of this article, there are many women including those I know personally who are too scared to take the necessary steps and have a smear done, simply because they are too put off by the procedure. Many women find it embarrassing; whereas other women have heard of particular cases; especially for women who have yet to give birth, that the process can be quite painful.
As a result of this; far too many women are putting their lives at risk by not attending these smear test appointments in order to rule out any abnormalities. I am a strong advocate of the term; prevention is better than cure and if more women took this notion to heart; we wouldn’t hear of thousands of women dying of cervical cancer in the UK alone.
You can of course then understand my elation of learning that there was at home testing kit that women could access to establish whether they are at risk of getting Cervical Cancer.
Many women do not understand or recognise that Smear tests look for traces of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) which is a sexually transmitted disease with 4 out of 5 people exposed to the virus. It is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women with 97.7% of women getting cervical cancer because of this virus.
The home testing kit I speak of is Gynaecheck. This discreet and effective at home testing kit allows you to conduct your own screening; all in the comfort of your own home! Provided with all the tools you need and in-depth step-by-step instructions; this product will undoubtedly cut the cases of women being diagnosed with Cervical Cancer in the UK.
When given the opportunity to test the GynaeCheck at home; I have to admit; I was extremely apprehensive as by looking at it; I could imagine that it would in some way be painful. However, I can openly and honestly say that the GynaeCheck stick was painless and the overall process was completed in seconds.
You are provided with detailed instructions explaining what to do and the order of the procedure. You are also given a paper towel, a tube to insert the specimen into, as well as a discreet box to send away for testing.
The at home test employs the ‘Vaginal Lavage technique’. You are provided with a slim wand shaped device which you insert into the vagina. Then by pressing a button; the device collects a sample which you then release into a tube. It’s that easy and straight away gives you sense of peace as you know you are taking charge of your health. I am now eagerly awaiting my results and will endeavour to update you once they arrive.
Overall, GynaeCheck is without a doubt a life saver and will provide thousands of women with the peace of mind as well as dignity to manage their own health and to take charge or their wellbeing. Thank you all for sharing in on my experience with this revolutionary product that will no doubt contribute to saving many lives and will now hand the reigns back to Dani.
Look out for Part 2 where I share details on the cost / where to purchase a GynaeCheck kit and will include short insightful video clips about the GynaeCheck presentation by Dr Pixie McKenna that day. This follow up article (due to be published tomorrow) will also shed light on the GynaeCheck Target 100,000 Cervical Screening Campaign.
This post was partly written by Sasha Bennett, founder and writer of award winning online lifestyle site In-Spire LS Magazine. Aside from writing, Sasha can be found tweeting under twitter handle @Sashashantelvip She is worth following beautiful people!
Danielle is a 1st Dan Kickboxing coach / Assistant Instructor under the PKA Kickboxing Association who is also a health, fitness, green beauty, wellness and lifestyle freelance writer / digital journalist. Her passions include encouraging others to lead an active, health conscious lifestyle whilst leading her Breakin' Boundrez team on various fitness related challenges.