By Hollie Luck
A study of 2,017 women by the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Charity has shown a third of the women either delayed or missed going to their cervical cancer/smear test because they were embarrassed about their body shapes and having someone that intimately close with them.
15% of the study group also said they would skip their appointment in favour of going to gym classes or for a wax. Nationally, it has been found that one in every four women miss their cervical screening appointments.
So what exactly have some of these women been avoiding?
A cervical screening test is offered to 25-65-year-olds and takes a small swab from the cervix so the cells can be detected for abnormalities. The NHS page for cervical screening states that around 1 in 20 results come back as abnormal, but do not worry! A lot of these abnormal results are not cancerous and will often go back to normal.
Despite it being a little embarrassing or uncomfortable, surely making sure your body is healthy is worth it? It should only take a couple of minutes and is done every 3 years for 25-49-year-olds and every 5 years for 50-64 years old. To me, the choice is simple, 5 minutes every few years in return for peace of mind that your cervix is healthy.
When you turn 25 you will receive a letter from your GP asking you to make an appointment. If you’re one of the women that have missed your appointments so far then it’s never too late – ring up your GP and ask to book one.
Below is the NHS webpage for cervical screenings if you would like more information, as well as a link to a video that well explains how the procedure works.
The information in this article is from the NHS website and does not constitute professional, medical or psychological advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions, or if any of the issues in this article affect you.