Cervical Screening Awareness

15-21 June 2020

Coronavirus has changed lots of things. Cervical Screening Awareness Week isn’t one of them! 

If you are due cervical screening or have had a test cancelled, you might be wondering what is going on. Whether it’s your first or your last test, we’re going to help you understand changes to cervical screening as a result of coronavirus, including what to expect if you go.

Cervical screening during coronavirus: How does it work now?

5 million women are invited for cervical screening every year in the UK but over the last few months many tests have been postponed and invitations paused. We also know that cervical screening isn’t always easy and coronavirus might have made it more complicated. During Cervical Screening Awareness Week we’re going to be helping you make sense of the changes. 

Below you can find some useful information on Cervical Screening. More infomration on how COVID-19 changes to Cervical Screening Can be found at Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust




Cervical screening (a smear test) checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina.

  • It’s not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.
  • All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should be invited by letter.
  • During the screening appointment, a small sample of cells will be taken from your cervix.
  • The sample is checked for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause changes to the cells of your cervix. These are called “high risk” types of HPV.
  • If these types of HPV are not found, you do not need any further tests.
  • If these types of HPV are found, the sample is then checked for any changes in the cells of your cervix. These can then be treated before they get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.
  • You’ll get your results by letter, usually in about 2 weeks. It will explain what happens next.

Cervical screening is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.

Find out more Here from NHS




5 million women are invited for cervical screening every year in the UK but over the last few months many tests have been postponed and invitations paused. We also know that cervical screening isn’t always easy and coronavirus might have made it more complicated. During Cervical Screening Awareness Week we’re going to be helping you make sense of the changes. 

If you recently booked your cervical screening appointment, it may have been cancelled. This is in part to reduce pressure on the NHS and in part to keep you, and the GP surgery staff, protected from coronavirus.

In England, GP surgeries are now offering cervical screening appointments so you can contact your surgery and ask to book one. 

The Cervical Screening Programme in England is inviting people for cervical screening. GP surgeries and some sexual health clinics are doing cervical screening. If you have had your invitation, you can contact your GP surgery to book an appointment. 

Appointment times

At the moment, many GP surgeries are offering cervical screening appointments on set days or at set times. This is a safety measure to help protect you, and their staff, from coronavirus, because it makes sure only a few people are in the surgery at any time. 

If you can’t attend any of the available appointments, speak to your GP surgery to see if they can be flexible for you. 

 

You can find out more information about appointments and all FAQ here at Jos Trust 

 

Warrington’s Clinical Commisioning Group have explained

“Due to COVID still being ongoing, primary care is not back up to business as usual.  The position is that anyone who required a cervical screen in line with clinical criteria (i.e. those who have had abnormal previous tests and who the clinical assessment identified as needing to be screen) have been screened / are still being called up for screening.  Routines are being progressed in order of priority as the services increase the flow of activity.”




Symptoms of cervical cancer include bleeding between periods, after sex and after menopause, changes to vaginal discharge, pain during or after sex, and unexplained lower back or pelvic pain. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important you contact your GP surgery by phone or online to get advice. A doctor should assess you over the phone or by video call. Once they know more about your individual situation, they will decide whether they need to see you at a face-to-face appointment to do a further examination.

Read about virtual appointments >

It is important to remember that cervical cancer is rare, so the likelihood that your symptoms are caused by cervical cancer is low. However, it is still important to get medical advice. 

Read about symptoms of cervical cancer >



 

eConsult is free to use for NHS patients. Use eConsult to ask your GP surgery about your health symptoms, conditions or treatment. You can even request things like sick notes and GP letters.

  • Find your symptom, condition or request.
  • Fill out a quick form.
  • The practice responds with advice, a prescription or an appointment

If you have any Symptoms or Queries E-Consult is the best way to get through to your practice- due to the pandemic phone lines are extremley busy.