Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Not only am I worried re. last post but I'm in such a state today. For all the 18 months I've been living out in S America, today...I just want to go home... to my local GP. In reality I'm lucky. I have a health plan here and have a lovely Dr (gynae/fertility) who did our fertility treatment outside out health plan (we had to pay) and is now doing all our antenatal care (free) as part of our health plan. He is only ever a phone call away and he is my midwife/early pregnancy unit/first port of call all rolled into one.
So while I'm not 'missing out' on UK stuff (except freebies) occasional differences make me panic. Like...he wants to do a smear. The one inspection of my ladies bits that was forgotten pre treatment. I am supposed to 'drop in' this afternoon for one, with him. I haven't felt comfortable with it and finally got on google last night. Apart from the usual horror stories 'I had m/c 2 days after smear' (with no dates, history or evidence) there are currently no known contraindications to a smear during pregnancy, according to UK, US, Australia. Best article researched 1900 women. (6 hours of google).
The only arguement not to have one is that cells change so much in pregnancy it throws up false abnormal results and treatment cannot take place during pregnancy anyway so in the UK overdue smears are usually delayed until 3 months post delivery. Also the UK still only recalls women every 3 years (whereas it's more frequent in other countries). One other reason (according to UK/Oz) for testing in pregnancy is that sometimes it's the only time to catch women who do not attend routine smears.
Here, it's once a year, so that's why my Dr feels I need one as my last one (normal) was 18 months ago. I did have a virus in my 20s that suggested annual smears would be a good idea but they've always been fine at 3yrs. I had a cervical polyp removed in Feb (grew due to IVF drugs). Maybe he has other reason, I will grill him today.
I found lots of literature from US and Australia that says it's very routine there to have a smear as part of antenatal care and that it can pick up early signs of changes and infections that may be passed on to a new born via the birth canal.
I don't really know what I'm looking for in a response to this post. I will speak to my Dr and tell him why currently I don't want it done. It just feels hard to turn down something that all the other women in this country have and see as a normal part of their antenatal care. If I was born here all my friends would have had one and I probably would feel guilty turning down this test.
My 12 week scan is looming at the weekend too = stress +++