One in three women and people with a cervix don’t attend cervical screening (smear tests). This Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (17 – 23 January), we are on a mission to change that by renewing calls for residents to have a smear test when asked to do so.
Smear tests are offered to all women and anyone with a cervix aged 25 years and over. It is a quick and simple health check for the cervix and helps detect very early changes that may lead to cancer, meaning it can be easily treated before it even develops.
It takes around 5 minutes and people can have a smear test any time, except during their period.
Five tips to make smear tests easier:
1. Don’t worry about what you look like down there. Your medic will have seen it all before and will be professional
2. Wear something comfy and easy to get on and off
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Speak to your friends, the nurse, just ask whatever you want to know – there is no pressure to have the test
4. If you’re nervous, ask in advance for the nurse to give you a double appointment to give you more time to talk and not feel rushed
5. Why not buy yourself a treat to have after your smear test – like a hot drink, a magazine, or whatever it is that makes you happy?
Whether you get a letter asking you to book your test, or if you have ignored one before, book your free smear test at your doctor’s surgery. It’s free and confidential.