Finally! Cervix With A Smile!

And so, to the serial drama of my stubborn cervix.

For those not in the know, last week I was declared a possible candidate for the Difficult Cervix Clinic, as the last smear I am going to have (on the NHS, which cuts women off at 65) was an abject failure.

My cervix, it transpired, would have been the star turn at the Cirque du Soleil, but its ability to transform itself into something that might render a cell or two defeated two nurses (see the last post on this: One Last Hurrah For My Cervix).

I returned for round two, having been told that a cervix can change position at any time, for no logical reason. Having failed to entice it out of its vaginal woods with jumping up and down or dancing during last week’s show, I returned to greet a third nurse.

The difficult ones always end up with her, she explained, which I found rather comforting, like reaching the foot of a throne when you’ve been working downstairs for decades.

She had a very soothing voice, and when I got into position – soles of feet facing, knees to the side – she told me that she wanted my knees closer together and soles of my feet down on the bed. ‘We all have our different ways of doing this,’ she explained.

I was feeling strangely optimistic: like a tennis ingenue suddenly discovering why the backhand that has failed them for years could be mastered with one simple technique.

‘Do you want me to put my fists under my bum like last week?’ I asked, now the eager pupil who would do anything to gain the teacher’s approval.

‘Not yet.’

Knees closer together. ‘I’m going to start off with a small . . .’

I don’t know . . . spatula? Tablespoon? Chainsaw? I was so excited at the prospect of my improved backhand, I stopped paying attention.

First came the torch. And then silence. Oh no. My cervix was hiding in the wings again.

‘Could you cough, please?’ I did. ‘And again?’ Cough, cough. ‘And again, please.’ Cough cough cough. ‘Once more.’ Jeez! I gave it the full Covid.

And then . . . oh, the joy! ‘There it is!’

She could not have sounded more excited than if her horse had just won the Grand National. Nor, to be honest, could I.

‘You’ve found it?’ I squealed.


I barely registered the cell scraping, so excited was I at entering the winners’ enclosure of winning cervixes.

The nurse explained why coughing has the desired effect (it’s all to do with jerking it into action/submission – who knows), and I heard more about how a cervix operates in five minutes than I ever thought I needed to know in a lifetime.

I came out smiling, both from above and below the waist.

And I realise I have said and written the word cervix more in a week than all my previous 65 years put together.

I am happy in that I have avoided the Difficult Cervix Clinic through my obviously brilliant ability to cough to order.

I’ve been wondering how a bout of coughing might affect a man who might find himself up there, though.

Sometimes, I wonder if I overthink things.