Getting your smear test done is something that is all too easy to put off. However, a smear test is an important tool for detecting the signs of cervical cancer early. Here are the key things you need to know about what to expect at your next cervical screening test in London.
The aim of this procedure is to collect a small sample of cells from the mouth of the cervix. This is done during a pelvic exam. A speculum is used to gently open the mouth of the vagina so that a small brush can be used to collect the sample. Medics will then preserve the collected cells ready for testing. A lab then examines the cells to identify if there are any pre-cancerous cells or any anomalies.
A sample is collected in exactly the same way as in a pap smear. The cells are then tested to see if the HPV virus is present. This is important because most people who are infected with HPV have no symptoms. The type of HPV can carry different levels of risk for later developing cervical cancer.
There are different options when it comes to the timing of HPV testing; it can be done with or separate to a smear test. Which option is right for you is something to discuss with your doctor.
Frequency of Cervical Screening Test in London
The NHS recommends that all women between the age of 25 and 49 take up testing every three years. For women aged 50 to 69, the schedule shifts to every five years.
Some women choose to get tested every year. This often happens as part of a well-woman check. This is an opportunity to have a full check-up and discuss any concerns or questions about reproductive health. This can make cervical testing less daunting as it is only a part of the visit, not the whole focus.
Make an Appointment
Do you need a cervical screening test in London? If you have missed your last smear test, or want to get a well-woman check then why not make an appointment today. Make your health a priority.