5 TIPS FOR YOUR CERVICAL SCREENING/SMEAR TEST FROM ME, TO YOU. Every day eight women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and three die from the disease. Yet cervical cancer is largely preventable thanks to the NHS cervical screening programme and HPV vaccination programme. In the UK 22% of UK women do not attend their cervical screening (smear test) invitation.
There is a lot of stigma around the cervical screening when realistically there shouldn’t be. The cervical screening is literally thee first defense in preventing cervical cancer. Having regular cervical screening offers the best protection against developing cervical cancer and at the screening precancerous/abnormal cells can be detected so that they can be treated to prevent the occurrence of cancer. Catching cancers early is the best treatment you can possibly ask for, so why would you avoid it?
Because you’ve probably heard that it hurts or you are embarrassed.
Firstly you are showing your vagina to people who have seen more vaginas than you want to know. Its the same for your doctor or nurse seeing yet another vagina as it is for you seeing yet another mug with a funny metaphor on. You’ve seen a hundred of them, what is another? Plus you aren’t standing butt naked in front of someone. You will have a little private area to get undressed, lay down on the bed, cover yourself modestly then your allocated professional does a procedure they are totally unfazed by because they’ve done it plenty of time and then you’ll be done.
Secondly I come onto the most common thing you’ll see pop up for information on smear tests. The word ‘pain’. BUT seriously, I think people go to the word pain because there isn’t really a way of defining how a smear test feels. It isn’t comfortable but it isn’t painful. Put it this way, stubbing your toe hurts more or hitting your elbow. And ultimately this feeling is certainly going to be much better than the kind of feelings you would have to go to if you contract cervical cancer because you’ve not attended your regular screenings.
Lets break it down. Your smear is maybe 10 minutes of feeling a bit vulnerable and a bit embarrassed because you are getting undressed and your most private parts of your body exposed and then maybe 5-10 minutes maximum of a very odd sensation. Then you are done and well on your way to cervical health. AND IT IS SO WORTH IT.
Cervical screening is 80–90% reliable and can prevent 60–80% of cervical cancers. This means that seven out of every 10 cases of women who would have developed cancer of the cervix can be prevented
And if it helps, I’ve not only had a few smears myself, but I’ve been diagnosed with abnormal cells and gone all the way to surgery and I still stand by all of the above points. It isn’t too bad, I promise, but in case here are a few tips I find have helped me and maybe, might help you too.
1. BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT FOR FIRST THING IN THE MORNING OR LAST THING IN THE EVENING.
Depending on the type of person you are I would recommend booking early in the morning to ‘get it out of the way’ and have a day to relax and wind down or last thing in the evening so when it is all done you can go home and go straight to bed with a cup of tea. That way if you do have any after-effects (sometimes you may experience some period esque cramps or paints and some bleeding) you can relax in the comfort of your own home either chilling out doing whatever chills you out (sewing, gaming, watching a movie…) or sleep on it so by the time the next day come around you’ll be back to 100% you.
2. IF YOU ARE ANXIOUS, SPEAK TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL BODY BEFOREHAND (OR IF THAT IS SCARY, A PERSON WHO HAS DONE IT BEFORE!)
There is nothing better than speaking to a professional if you are anxious. Honestly. I found that speaking to my nurses at my GP helped me understand the procedure. Also by speaking to your professional bodies in your area, if you are particularly nervous, you can identify an individual that does make you feel comfortable and book in with them. By expressing your concerns you can ultimately combat them. Or if you don’t want to speak to them directly, speak to someone who has had a smear or more, they can give you plenty of advice too. I’m always at the end of an ask!
3. DONT BE AFRAID TO FOCUS ON DOING SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU COMFORTABLE DURING THE TEST
You do not have to just lay there in that kind scary movie hospital silence. Do something that makes you feel comfortable. Almost all doctors or nurses love to have a chinwag. Sometimes I’ve spoke about the test itself the whole way through, another time I spoke about what christmas presents I was buying that year. Heck when I had my coloscopy me and the team spoke about the best way to boil rice! If talking isn’t your forte you can always take some music in with you and listen to music whilst everything goes on (just remember your professional will likely want to explain everything beforehand because they do guide you through as it all happens, just so you know what is happening) or alternatively go in with some meditation based focus and focus on a particular thing, cover your face with a nice scented scarf. Whatever is your forte, don’t be afraid to do it. The more relaxed you are the better the overall experience for you and your professionals because after all, everyone wants you to have a positive smear. BONUS TIPS FOR EXTRA COMFORT:
Wear a nice long skirt or a dress so you don’t have to get undressed, you can just hitch it up and drop it down.
Bring a small pillow or place your hands just above your bum in the crook of your back to raise your pelvis up a little bit more.
Ask to bring a chaperone to talk too.
4. DONT BE AFRAID TO SAY STOP OR VOICE YOURSELF
Sometimes you may experience discomfort. Fundamentally it is because you may be anxious or scared because like an injection, if you are tense, it can be untoward. The important thing to remember is that you can stop entirely and come back another time or you can tell your doctor or nurse what you are feeling and they will do what they can to make it better there and then. Sometimes you might need more lubricant, sometimes the speculum needs to open sideways as opposed to horizontally, if you don’t voice how you feel, if you do experience anything uncomfortable, you’ll never make it comfortable. You can personalise your experience so if you have something negative you can either make it better and positive straight away or for next time you have a smear test.
5. YOU ARE NOT ALONE
And you never will be. Every single woman over 25 all the way to 64 will have smears every three years minimum. Heck I have to have mine every 6 months (and again, I am telling you, it isn’t that bad). You don’t need to feel alone. You don’t need to feel embarrassed. You don’t need to be scared. Everything you are doing is good and everything you will do is for your own health. By you going to your own smear test you can essentially promote others to do so too. Solidarity is the way forward, if we all go, we will all be safe and all in turn, make each other feel safe.
If anyone did have any questions or maybe wants me to do another blog along these lines or just wants to chat, hit me up on a DM. You can be anonymous if that helps but I am always here.
I have lusted over Kitty by Lascivious for longer than I care to admit. It has always just been bad luck on my part that I haven’t been able to afford the set and missed every flash sale/not had funds at the time of said sale but… my time finally came this year. I am a firm believer of there being a time and place for everything and this time I not only got Kitty but the Captain Bikini. I impromptu struck gold. (Well, black and frilly)
I cant begin to describe how soft Kitty is, no pun intended. The combination of the near-perfect fit of the set and the sultry soft satin base is just faultless. If it weren’t for the fact that this set isn’t designed to be worn under clothes, it would be a splendorous daily to wear.
I brought Kitty in a 32B and small suspender and brief. Lascivious has quite clearly put a lot of time and thought into the fit of each piece because although the bra is an entirely different type of fit in comparison to the brief and suspender they all manage to be both lightweight and comfortable. The bra is actually quite tight and structured whereas the suspender and brief are not, they are almost free-flowing. The bra is taut and strong but has a flexibility in it that makes it move fluidly with your body whereas the suspender and brief don’t have structure built in like the bra but are elasticated and mould around your body like a second skin. The combination is unusual but remarkable. The set is so so comfortable that you could easily forget you were wearing a three piece set.
I don’t generally buy sets to be suggestive but this set thoroughly makes me feel salacious and sexy and I mean, Kitty looks utterly show-stopping. The ouvert style of the bra and brief are so raw it just can’t help but be unabashedly risque and the layers of frills make the set frisky and kittenish to boot. Everything is designed on this set to be titillating. Kitty is definately made to be seen.
Kitty makes me feel like I am something exciting which at this point in my life, I really need sometimes and it gives me life and energy. Every part is made and designed with care. The tulle frills are poised so that there is cover enough for the set to be ‘pin up peep showesque’ yet enticing all at the same time. All the edges are finished with beautiful ruching (Even on the ouvert brief which I have seen neglected on other sets before) and the set is framed with a bow in the centre of the bra and brief. It is simply wonderful to see a set finished to perfection. Kitty is everything I wanted it to be.
Lascivious very much stays true to luxury lingerie. It is noteworthy that Kitty comes in both black and ivory and Lascivious brings out playful variants every so often (at the moment the set is available in purple and has previously been available in latex in collaboration with William Wilde). Kitty retails in full at £255 but Lascivious has plenty of flash sales and offers that makes them an attainable luxury brand not out of the realm of those who need to save. I will mention that Lascivious has fixed postage fees so you are better to order more together as opposed to individually to save on costs in that respect. (Sadly I forgot to order stockings and will need to wait till my next order but that’s by the by). Kitty is definitely worth the price-tag and I say that with utmost confidence,and with the quality and care provided by the brand, they will definately see me return as a customer. https://www.lascivious.co.uk/
Va Bien Lingerie Midnight Garden bra, suspender and brief. These florals and these blues are so luxurious and elegant.
Lascivious Lingerie Kitty Bra, Ouvert Brief and Suspender I’ve wanted the Kitty Set for as long as I can remember. This is one of the first luxury lingerie sets that really made me fall in love with lingerie.
Evgenia Lingerie Janus Bralette, Thong and Ribbon Corset. This should be the most sought after star set ever. Its beautiful.
Iris London Rita Pistachio This green and black lace combination is right up my alley! Ommph.
LINGERIE REVIEW - L’AGENT SIENA SOFT BRA, SUSPENDER AND BRIEF
I brought Siena on a whim alongside Lucila and I was sad to say that both sets were disappointing especially after my first purchase was Esthar a while back and I loved it. I’m not sure if blogging about Lucila will be beneficial but I will consider it as Lucila has entirely different points from Siena. I was hoping to purchase these two sets and write up something to reignite my passion for what I considered an affordable yet appealing brand but this time, I fell flat.
Siena is particularly difficult to photograph in real life because it is actually a very very dark navy laced with gold and the product photos show the set as almost a light blue. I wasn’t disappointed, if anything I prefer a darker set but this was the first time a product photo truly deceived me. Visually Siena is very pretty in the right lights. It is fashioned out of a floral lace with the metallised fibres woven into the lace and fabric which, if you are in good lighting, can really appreciate but nine times out of ten the darkness of the set overshadows the details that have been put into the design. I think you either need a good clean natural light or a glitterball and light show to really show this off.
Siena is a really nice fit for a small bust and the satin underband and straps on the set are soft but the lace which, with the metal fibres, is quite scratchy in more tender places which overall stops the set from being comfortable. I mark very easily but my buttox and breasts were quite red and tender when worn with tighter clothing. I mean its not wholly uncomfortable but you are always semi-aware that you are wearing lingerie and if you are like me, mean you are always adjusting it in an unladylike fashion at the dinner table or at your work desk.
I really love the fit of the bra because it is encompassing and supportive and the knicker is fitted but not restricting. I purchased my standard comfortable 32B in the bra and S in the suspender and knicker. The suspender doesn’t fit as well as the S in the knicker and rides up on the waist as you move so if you do have slightly bigger or rounder hips I suggest sizing up for comfort. The bra and knicker fit really nice and snugly despite the aforementioned but it just doesn’t save the set.
I’ve always seen L’agent as an alternative option to Ann Summers. An affordable yet classy brand that you can wear alongside you dailies but add a touch of ‘oomph’. You can pick up a set from the L’agent sales for £30 or under and they always have a really wide range so I didn’t expect to see negative results on not one but two sets. I’d like to say I struck unlucky but two different fitting sets being like this? I feel like actually, I just got lucky with Esthar way back when or maybe I am being harsh and the team behind the design and build of the lingerie has changed since then? Perhaps it is me and I need to completely reconsider my styles to body shape when purchasing from L’agent? Either way I won’t be returning to them for a while because of this. Sorry L’agent but you really let me down this time.
LINGERIE REVIEW LONELY LINGERIE PENNY HIGH WAISTED BRIEFS AND BRA
I’ve been aware of Lonely Lingerie for a long time and have admired the garments they have produced. Lonely Lingerie seems like a staple brand that I see many lingerie lovers own or pine for. When there was a sale on I ended up impulse buying the Penny set on a whim. I wish I had brought with more consideration because although I like Penny I don’t love Penny and probably could have made a more informed decision. Nonetheless it is not a bad decision by any mean just one that you kind of kick yourself over.
Penny overall is very pretty and sultry and is made from sheer stretch lace. All of the edges are beautifully scalloped which adds definition to the already elegant lace design. The colour is a dusty green which is advertised as ‘mist’ but to me reminds me more of a light eucalyptus leaf colour. There is a black colourway of this set which, in hindsight, I wish I had gone for but nonetheless Penny is alluring in both. I have seen a few other lingerie lovers with this colourway and must say it is very suiting, just not to me on every level sadly.
Despite my own misgivings though the set is very much one of the most well fitted I own. The bra came in two options, underwire and soft and I went for the soft cup which is lightweight and very comfortable especially given how soft the fabric is. The bra band comes up very tight because the elastic is so strong. I imagine this would stretch out in time but if you don’t like very tight band like I do, I would advise to size up. I want to add that because of the tightness of the band it does give smaller cups an element of lift although the cut is likely better suited for a larger cup the design that tapers into the back is gorgeous as you’ll find a fair amount of bras are very disinteresting from the back. Penny is well thought out all the way around. You can cross the straps at the front or the back and although the straps look somewhat flimsy they are very durable and like the band, very strong. They do adjust to quite a broad sizing so it was easy to make them fit snugly.
The briefs I can speak equally as well of as they are comfortable and well fitting. The cut of the brief, like the bra, is very well considered and from the front is sublime. The cotton gusset does extend quite far up the back and personally makes the brief feel a little bit aged especially being, in comparison to the front, very flat. I just find with other lingerie I own the gusset is more subtle. In my mind the black colourway of Penny it doesn’t stand out as much but it is likely because I focus so much on the colour and lace combination that I want that to be the dominant aspect. I just feel the big gusset extending to the back overshadows that but that is entirely on a personal level.
Sadly noteworthy is that the front hook and loop does have a tendency to get stuck and catch, which I have found on all my hoop and loop fastenings bar Karolina Laskowska’s choker that I purchased. The smaller waist band does not have this problem as it is just a hook that secures the fabric.
The cut of Penny is absolutely lovely and is definitely the standout feature of this set. Penny is well rounded and with the consideration on the bra and the extra waist strap looks great from the front or the back.
Lonely Lingerie is a mid-range brand as Penny would cost approximately £140 from new. Those in Britain also need to bare in mind you do get import tax, mine was just over £20. Penny doesn’t make me feel anything spectacular in terms of design but from quality and fit I will definitely revisit Lonely Lingerie in the future so I look forward to hopefully, with something better suited to me, another review.
When Amoretu asked me to review some products, naturally I was happy to do so (especially in my previous chemise review which was very nice and I really liked it), but with the bodystocking I was definitely hesitant for two reasons. One is that I didn’t know how the bodystocking was going to fare as a budget piece and two, being that they strike me as being very sexualised which is not the reason I wear my lingerie. Overall, both of these aspects stopped me from loving bodystockings as a whole and sadly this piece in itself.
The thing is, I really like the concept of this bodystocking but it just isn’t me, it just doesn’t speak to me on any level. This bodystocking is all about the crotchless design, which ecompasses the buttox and shape of the legs and makes them look exceptionally good, but lets face it, crotchless designs are for easy access sex and that just isn’t my forte and doesn’t make me, on a personal level, feel sexy, but in having owned and tried this I understand why they would for others and appreciate the idea.
The quality is what you would expect for the price, you get what you put in after all. Amoretu, as previously mentioned is budget lingerie brand, but the budget hasn’t done the bodystocking any favours whereas could be overlooked in the Chemise. The hems are all turned in or frayed all over as op, making it very unfinished and imperfect, and what makes me most unhappy is the lines going vertical on the design to connect both laces which just aren’t aligned at all as I feel, visually, it really ruins the whole design. It is such a shame, it really is, because the bodystockings design is very nice and almost sultry with the floral design on the bust, hem and stockings. Especially the stockings as I can imagine myself wearing them, if they weren’t a part of the bodysuit and were stockings alone (especially as the suspenders were very flimsy and didn’t hold them high enough for me to show them off properly in my blog photos)
The fit was very snug and even though the design was complex in terms of having many exposed areas, none of the hems rubbed or were incommodious. The tiny straps and high rise on the bust don’t do any favours for a smaller bust and these feature on the vast majority of the Amoretu bodystockings so I feel they are more suited to a larger bust overall and definitely look more desirable on the product photos which I think really was my major crux, bodystockings look good in photos and not on me.
Bodystockings likely have more to offer than I can express (because I bet there are some raw, carnal individuals that would rock this) and it certainly isn’t Amoretu’s fault that I have found, in the time I have spent with the product, no love for the it. Amoretu have produced a comfortable and very strikingly provocative piece that I am sure ticks many more boxes for others than I.
LINGERIE REVIEW WEAR CLEMENTINA CAROLINE BRALETTE AND THONG
I saw this set back when I was on holiday in June and the moment I laid my eyes on Caroline, I had to have the set. I have a penchant for both strappy styles and animal print so the combination of both set my lingerie lust to overdrive. When it was first posted the set was due at the end of June but was released early October. I was at work on my lunch break when I noticed and within that short timeframe the thong was no longer in my size. For a moment I was gutted but with a quick curious email, Wear Clementina’s Agnes was happy to make my size in the thong to match with the bra and in a matter of weeks, Caroline was mine.
Caroline is very bold and incredibly soft of the skin. The set as a whole is exceptionally comfortable to wear and, as may be visible, slightly tight (which is how I like my lingerie) so although I brought a size 8 in the thong I could have sized up to a 10. I went with my comfort zone 32B in the bra which due to being an elastic set, is perfect.
I am torn between whether the bra or the thong is my favourite aspect of the set. I can barely feel it around my torso it is so comfortable. I imagine this style wouldn’t be very beneficial to a larger bust as the cups are so light and delicate but for smaller bust styles, with the emphasis of the elastic frame around the cup, it really brings out the definition in the shape and size of the bust. The framing of the elastic on the leopard cup makes the style ever so versatile, and although I am not one for lingerie as outerwear, this makes me reconsider my own tastes as this would look great as outwear too. The bra is front fastening with a hook and loop. Sadly the hook and loop, like many other of my lingerie, has a tendency to get stuck every so often on the fabric and can be a pain to get off every now and then. Nonetheless I always find front fastenings much comfier to wear and also with this style it allows for the back to be as beautiful as the front which I find is a rarity in lingerie. I absolutely adore the ‘skirting’ of the lace around the back instead of just straps.
The thong follows suit of the bra but in a more simplistic manner. As I find often with independant thongs the back of the thong is a little bit too big on my buttox but personally I negate this by wearing the thong high on the hips. The straps are doubled up so can either be worn flush or parted and the front of the thong is embellished with a tiny gold cross.
Overall I am still as excited about this set as I was back in June. The thong and bralette as soft and comfortable and sit flush on the skin. The stitch quality and detail overall is fantastic, especially in comparison of other similar independant brand styles, Wear Clementia excels. I will 100% be making more purchases from Wear Clementina because there is plenty more styles in the collection that makes me swoon.
You can find Caroline here (Although I am not sure if the fabric is all but gone)
So in addition to my lingerie posts, for anyone interested I will be posting mini behind the scenes blog posts on any photoshoots I attend. They will aim to be short, sweet and more visual.
I recently had a photoshoot for the upcoming collection for Emiah and it was utterly fantastic. Having this opportunity has been a bit of a dream as I have admired Emiah for what feels like a very long time. I was completely overwhelmed the moment I saw the underwater series with Zara Syrett- Model and Catherine Laura Photography so I was over the moon to have the opportunity to work with such a glorious designer.
The collection is an ornate series of garments all perfectly crafted from the from the same lace. Each meticulously planned set is so exquisite and ethereal they make lingerie works of art. I simply cannot wait to see what evolves of the shoot especially from a team that I could not sing any higher praises from.
LINGERIE REVIEW BLUEBELLA CHRISTABEL BRA AND BRIEF After purchasing the Nova set from Bluebella I was highly impressed with the brand. Bluebella is generally a good quality, affordable brand with high sex appeal in the way of the designs. I always had my eye on the Christabel set and was incredibly surprised when it dropped down multiple levels in the sale so this purchase was an absolute steal.
Christabel is a little bit of visual trickery. Don’t get me wrong when I was buying it I was never under any false pretence that this was going to be a sensible set for a day to day wearable basis but I do think it is deceptive in its retail photos. The set gives this ‘air’ of support in its retail photos when realistically it is very flimsy and non-supportive, even for a small bust. The quarter cup and straps are all an illusion of structure and wearing the bra as tightly as possible. Nonetheless I didn’t purchase the set with any pretences and ordered this to be nothing more than eye candy because, thats what it is, very very pretty.
Christabel for me, is all about that detailing on the quarter cup. The combination of the lace against the skin is simply lovely and very very sexy. I am really quite enamored by the small addition of lace to the centre of the bra that makes it a very ornamental piece. When you wear this you definitely feel good. The brief in comparison is very plain only really mimicking the bra with the same lace applied on the front of the brief (which is deceptively difficult to see but is actually very quaint). I think the overall design of the brief could have had the same nude-lace on the sides to tie the bra and brief together more and also construct the same sex appeal throughout the design, that would of completed the set for me. I feel like had I have brought the red set all of the downfalls of this set would have been too much for me but the black is very forgiving and hides a great amount of sins.
Overall though the set is really lightweight and comfortable to wear, a combination of the unsubstantial support but very soft fabrics. I down-talk Christabel but as a whole I really enjoy the set, visually more than practically but I brought it to look good and look good this set does well. Realistically speaking this set is great for a smaller bust as you can get away without the support to obtain a very decorative set that is absolutely perfect for swanning about in or flaunting for someone special (yourself or otherwise, because it works both way). I hope this this set is a springboard for other more visually appealing sets that will encompass more than just the way the set looks.
The only other thing I obsess about more than cats (and lingerie) is birds. So naturally when I was shopping for life essentials this set from @topshop made it into said essentials. Damn you online shopping. It’s super comfy and made me feel a little bit better today as I am still extraordinarily sore. Yawning and smiling are issues for me right now.
I just couldn’t resist the embroidery birds. I couldn’t. I need more bird lingerie in my life