Feb.24, 2009, filed under Miscellany

The suggestion from a Ceefax correspondent that we rename the smear test meets with a derisive response at SYB.

Admittedly I am neither a woman nor a psychologist, but I really do think a smear test should be called something else — I’m sure it’s not as horrible an experience as it sounds.

As a matter of fact DM, Merseyside is quite right. It’s not as horrible an experience as it sounds. It’s far, far worse.

“Smear test” evokes something innocuous, such as fingerprick test; or, for those who know too many inaccurate misogynistic jokes, something to do with sitting on a glass slide. What it in no way evokes is the experience of lying on a sheet of paper, naked from the waist down, being told to bring your knees up, tilt your pelvis and relax while a cold metal cone is inserted into a very sensitive place and cranked open like a car jack before your cervix is scraped with something resembling a lolly stick.

If you’re lucky you’ll get a sympathetic and sensitive nurse, who bothers to ask whether you’ve had kids rather than going for the larger sized speculum on the basis that you’re old enough to have had them, and who pays attention to quirks of anatomy rather than just shoving harder upon meeting resistence.

As weeza says:

May I suggest DM undergo the cotton-bud-in-the-japs-eye test simultaneously with a prostate exam, whilst fourteen med students with clipboards and rubber gloves look on and he is told to ‘just relax’ on a paper sheet with his ankles behind his head and a bright light shining on his nether regions? Just for comparison’s sake?

On one memorable occasion a German gynaecologist told me to stop complaining, it couldn’t possibly hurt, there are no pain nerves up there.

He was male. Otherwise he’d have known better.

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