Cervical Screening

Reasons for not attending

We asked women why they did not attend regularly for cervical screening. Embarrassment at exposing private parts of the body to a stranger was a common reason why women did not attend for screening.

Others said they were concerned that the test would be painful. Some women had experienced a painful test in the past that had stopped them from going again. Women who had previously found the test painful said that they experienced no discomfort with the current method of cervical screening, using liquid based cytology (see Experiences of Cervical Screening). A few did not attend because of fear of the unknown and unfamiliarity with doctors.

Some women mistakenly believe that cervical screening is not relevant to them. A few commented that when they were younger they did not realise the importance of having a regular screening test. All women who are invited for cervical screening should have a regular cervical test to check the health of their cervix.

Last reviewed October 2015.

Last updated October 2015.

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