What are your experiences of being called for a smear test?

Don't let shyness risk your life, says dad of Sunderland woman claimed by cervical cancer

More than a third of women (35%) said that they had delayed going for the cervical cancer test as they are embarrassed about their body shape.

The survey found that young females are embarrassed to get a smear test because of body shape (35%), vulva appearance (34%), and worries over genital smell.

In Havering only 70.9 per cent of women aged between 25 and 49, and 79.1 per cent of women aged between 50 and 64 attend their smear test when invited.

Women are sharing selfies with smeared lipstick on social media to raise awareness of the importance of getting tested for cervical cancer. But while the NHS has come under scrutiny for sending out letters that reinforce the fact it's a "choice" to attend the screenings, experts in the field would actively urge all women to attend their smears. We know that if a woman does not have an acceptable experience, this may put her off having smears in the future, and the biggest risk of developing cervical cancer is not having a smear.

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A third of women also admitted they would not attend their appointment if they had not waxed or shaved their bikini area.

But 1 in 4 women skip the cervical screening, with the proportion increasing to 1 in 3 among those aged 25 to 29 and to 1 in 2 in some more deprived regions of the UK.

Lindsay was diagnosed with cervical cancer at 29 after ignoring invitations for a smear test. "It is of further concern that body worries are contributing to nonattendance".

It's possible for women of all ages to develop cervical cancer, although the condition mainly affects sexually active women aged 30 to 45.

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"Please don't let unhappiness or uncertainty about your body stop you from attending what could be a life-saving test".

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week takes place this week (January 22 - 28).

Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust has found they're anxious about body image, and whether they're "normal". When found early, cervical cancer is highly treatable.

But in some cases, the abnormal cells need to be removed so they can't become cancerous. The Trust pointed out that across the United Kingdom, one in four eligible women (those aged between 25 and 64) do not take up their smear test invitation. "The [health professional's] focus is to make women feel welcome, comfortable and ensuring their dignity is maintained, while obtaining a good sample".

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