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Cervical Smear Test
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What is Cervical Cancer?
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), the 4th most common cancer in women is cervical cancer. In the UK alone, there are around 3000 women diagnosed with this every year.
It is rare for women under the age of 25 to have cervical cancer. Although it is more common between ages 30-45, it can develop in sexually active woman at any age.
Symptoms of cervical cancer include:
- Normal bleeding: during or after sexual intercourse, or between periods
- Post menopausal bleeding: if you are not on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or have stopped it for six weeks or more
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
- Lower back pain.
Alsmost all cases of cervical cancer (99.7% – Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust) are caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a group of viruses that can be spread through sexual intercourse and other sexual activitiy i.e. skin-to-skin contact of the genitals. There are different types of HPV viruses that range from low-risk for cervical cancer to high risk.
In most cases, the immune system is able to clear HPV infection within ~2 years. However, in some situations, this does not happen. If an individual has an infection associated with a high risk type of HPV, then they are more at risk of developing cervical cancer. This is because high risk types are believed to prevent cells from working normally. Instead, these cells being to reproduce uncontrollably which may lead to a the growth of tumours.
Smear Test Explained
The cervix is the neck of the womb (that joins the upper part of the vagina). Approximately 1 in 20 women will have some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. Majority of these cells do NOT lead to cancer and in fact, return to normal without any assistance or treatment. However, sometimes these cells do need to be removed to prevent them from becoming cancerous.
A smear test (or cervical screening test) is performed to assess the health of these cells.
It does this by:
1. Checking abnormal cell changes in your cervix
2. Checking for HPV (Human papillomavirus)
It is important to note that this is NOT a test for cancer, it is a test to help PREVENT cancer.
The test is FREE for every woman registered with a GP in the UK. You are automatically invited via letter between ages 25 and 64. Regular screening allows any abnormalities as such to be identified and treated at an early stage. As a result, they are prevented from developing into cancer. Although cervical screening is not 100%, it is by far, the best way to recognise any abnormal cell present.
ideally, the screening should be performed mid-cycle – 14 days after your last menstrual period and NOT during a period. If you use lubricant or a spermicide, it is strongly advised to be avoided 24 hours before the test. This is because the chemicals can affect the results. After a few simple question regarding your sexual health, you will be asked to strip down from waste down and lie down on a couch.
A small instrument called a speculum which is inserted into the vagina. This allows the nurse to visualise your cervix. Following this, some cells from the cervix surface will be collected using a small, soft brush. For majority of women, this is not a painful process. The results should be back within 7-10 days and your nurse will arrange how you would best like to receive these results.
Why choose us ?
At one of our branches, The Women’s Health Clinic, we strive for women enjoying a health and active sex life – regardless of their age. Although the cervical smear test is FREE to every woman registered with a GP in the UK, it isn’t always easy to attend your appointment. In some cases, women may find it difficult to find a convenient time due to work or family commitments whilst others may not feel comfortable being examined by someone at their GP surgery as they know them on a personal level.
Here at The Women’s Health Clinic, our qualified nurses are able to offer you appointments at a convenient location and time suitable for you. After the test, your named nurse will then contact you with your results and a copy will be sent to your GP if you wish. If further testing or treatments are required, we will also arrange this with you.
Offer you an appointment at a location and time most suitable for you
Help you avoid long waiting times you may experience at an NHS clinic
Everything is completely confidential
Your named nurse will be an expert in the field of women’s health with years of knowledge
Free Telephone Consultation
order that we are able to provide you with best possible
Cervical Smear Test: £190
Special offer: £100
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