There are around 3,000 women diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK. While it is more common in women between the ages of 30 -45 years, it can develop in sexually active women at any age. Cervical cancer is rare in women under the age of 25.
Smear test explained
A cervical screening test ( also known as a smear test) is performed to detect abnormal cells on the cervix which is the neck of the womb. It is performed to check the health of the cells in the cervix -it is NOT a test for cancer.
Around 1 in 20 women will have some abnormal changes in these cells. The majority of these changes do NOT lead to cancer and often the cells return to normal without any treatment. Sometimes these cells do need to be removed so they do not become cancerous.
The NHS Cervical Screening Programme was introduced in the 1980’s to offer FREE cervical screening to all women registered with a GP between the ages of 25-65.
Since the introduction of this programme, the number of cases of cervical cancer has decreased by 7 % each year.
Regular screening allows any abnormalities to be identified and treated at an early stage to prevent them developing into cancer. While cervical screening isn’t 100% accurate, and does not detect all types of cervical cancer, it is the best way to pick up any abnormal cells and refer for further treatment or investigation.
Ideally, the test should be performed mid cycle- i.e. 14 days after your last menstrual period and not during a period. If you normally use a spermicide or lubricant during intercourse, this should be avoided for 24 hours prior to the test because the chemicals they contain can affect the results. After a few simple questions about your sexual health, you will be asked to undress from the waste down and lie down on a couch. A small instrument called a speculum will be inserted into the vagina to allow the nurse to visualise your cervix. Some cells will be collected from the surface of the cervix using a small soft brush. Some ladies find the test uncomfortable but for the majority of women it is not painful. The results should be back within 7-10 days and your named nurse will arrange how you would best like to receive these results.
Our unique approach
At The Women’s Health Clinic we want women of all ages to enjoy a healthy and active sex life. While this test is FREE to every women registered with a GP in the UK, some women find it difficult to book an appointment at their surgery at a convenient time, due to work or family commitments, while other women do not like to be examined by someone at their GP surgery as they know them personally.
Why choose us ?
Here at The Women’s Health Clinic our qualified nurses and able to offer you an appointment at a location and at a time that is convenient to you. Your named nurse will contact you with your results and also send a copy to your GP if you wish. If further investigation or treatment is required, we can also arrange this for you.
We are able to offer you an appointment time at a clinic location that is suitable for you without the long waiting times you may experience at an NHS clinic and everything is completely confidential – we will not inform your GP unless you specifically ask us to.
Your named nurse will be an expert in the field of women’s health with years of knowledge and experience and hold specialist qualifications within this field.