Reasons for not attending cervical screening

We asked people 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 people did not attend for screening.

Embarrassment prevented her from having a cervical screening test until she was 40 years old but she advises…

Age at interview 54

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 54

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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 people 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 people 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 screening test to check the health of their cervix.

She didn’t realise the importance of having regular cervical screening tests when she was younger.

Age at interview 41

Gender Female

Age at diagnosis 27

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Receiving cervical screening test results

Cervical screening test results are normally sent to women in writing between 2–6 weeks after the test. However, methods of receiving results and timing vary...