When I got the letter through reminding me it was due, I thought…Already?! I’ll deal with that later and put it in a pile on the side. Then I was playing with my children and thought…no actually, I need to ring and book it now. It’s not a pleasant experience but it is over quickly, and it is so, so important.
The screening programme is offered to all women aged 25 – 64 years old.
A sample of cells is taken from your cervix and is then sent off to be tested for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause changes to the cells in your cervix.
· If these types of HPV aren’t found, then you won’t need to do anything further until your next test is due.
· If these types of HPV are found, the sample is then checked for changes in the cells. Treatment can be carried out before they turn into cervical cancer.
Results are sent through the post about 2 weeks after the appointment, so there isn’t a long wait for results either.
I think it is great we have this early prevention screening available to us for free on the NHS and think everyone should take advantage of it.
Age When you’re invited
Under 25 Up to 6 months before you turn 25
25 – 49 Every 3 years
50 – 64 Every 5 years
65+ Only if 1 of your last 3 tests was abnormal
According to NHS figures 3.2 million women were tested under the cervical screening programme in 2019/20. This was less than the previous year and the COVID pandemic will have impacted this number further.
Please make sure you book your appointment ladies!
It is uncomfortable, but it is over quickly, and it saves lives. It is 100% worth it.
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