Keira’s Story

In 2008, 6 weeks after the birth of my first child, I had my first ever Pap test. I was 17 at the time and a new mum. My results came back as possible low grade abnormalities. Unsure of what this meant I rang the nurse who performed my Pap test and was told this could be due to pregnancy hormones & not to worry. I was told to return in 12 months for a repeat test.

Well in 12 months I was now pregnant with my second child and was reminded to book another Pap test after the birth of my baby. With two little ones to look after, I ended up forgetting to book myself in for a Pap test. Instead I went on to have another baby in 2011 and got married that year too. My marriage and my kids came before my needs and it wasn’t until this year, 7 years later, that I finally thought to take care of myself.

Now my children are 7, 6 and 4 and we lead a very busy life as you could imagine but after I went for my Pap test in May I got a call back to see the doctor and I honestly didn’t even think it had anything to do with my Pap results. However, there I was being told that I needed to be referred to a specialist because my results had come back high-grade CIN3. At my specialist doctor after having a colposcopy/biopsy (both worse than a Pap test ever could be) I was told it was indeed CIN3 and pre-cancerous cells present. Just pre-cancerous was enough to scare me. The wait in between all these tests and results is also enough to drive any woman crazy. But I was booked in within weeks to have a Lletz procedure done and it was successful, with clear margins as my final result in August. I will have to return in January for more tests but I thank my lucky stars I didn’t leave it any longer. My 3 little kids need me around a lot longer and prevention is better than cure.

My tips for Australian women about cervical health

Just a few minutes is all it takes to get a pap smear. Look after yourself. You are just as important as the rest of your family/commitments.