The following blog has been written by Sophie Goulden from Woodhouse Medical Practice.
Thinking about your cervical screening can be a nerve-wracking experience for any woman or person with a cervix, especially if you have not had one before but rest assured that you are in safe hands…
Many clinicians have been carrying out the procedure for a long time and will be able to explain the procedure, answer any questions and help you feel more at ease. If you are nervous and it is normal to be, then, please explain to your nurse or clinician that you are seeing so, we can go at your pace. The main thing to remember is that you are in control and the more you can relax the easier the sample can be taken.
During COVID-19 pandemic everything may feel a bit different but the GP surgeries are open as normal and we are seeing patients for cervical screening as it is an important test that can help prevent cancer. Your clinician will wear full protective equipment and surgeries have put a lot of time and effort to ensure that we are keeping everyone safe. You will probably be asked to wear a mask or face covering during your visit to the surgery and will be prompted to wash your hands or to use hand gel.
You will be guided by your nurse or clinician and it doesn’t take long at all. On average a cervical screening appointment is 15 minutes and the actual test is over in some short minutes. It shouldn’t hurt.
Why it’s important to attend for cervical screening?
Cervical screening is important as it identifies any changes on your cervix caused by certain strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that could lead to something more serious if those changes are not detected early with this screening. This is why it is important that you attend when invited so that any changes are identified and can be treated promptly.
We are all human!
Please do not worry about whether you have painted your nails or shaved your legs as we will not notice! The main thing is booking your appointment when you get your invitation letter and attending your appointment. Unfortunately people have stories and perceptions about certain procedures so please do not be put off and come to be seen so we can answer any of your questions or queries. We do an average of five cervical screening tests in one day so there will be no question or query that we haven’t heard before.
Written by Lead Practice Nurse Miss Sophie Goulden
Thank you to Sophie Goulden for writing this guest blog!
Early detection saves lives.
Check out our other blogs about cervical screening, visit Leeds Cancer.
To learn more about why cervical screening is important and to watch a video on what to expect at your appointment visit NHS.uk.