Recent figures show that only 71% of women aged 25 to 64 have had a smear test at the recommended intervals. Every year 2600 women in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 700 women die as a result. 
Experts have advised the reason for the decrease in the number of women going for a smear test is down to embarrassment and lack of awareness. 
A smear test, is necessary to check for cervical cancer or to identify cells that can potentially turn cancerous in the future. It’s recommended that a smear test is done every 3 years if you are aged 25 and 49 and every 5 years if you are aged 50 to 64. 
During the test the nurse or doctor will insert a small tube called a speculum into your vagina. This will allow them to see the cervix. They will then sweep over your cervix with a small brush, which will collect the cells. The samples are then placed in a tube and send to a lab for testing. The results usually take about 14 days to arrive, but can at times take longer. 
A smear test takes only a few minutes to do and is done by a nurse of doctor who has literally “seen it all before”. They don't care what your vagina looks like, how is smells, or it you haven't had a bikini wax recently. 
If you haven’t had a smear test recently, you can contact your GP to arrange an appointment. You can request that a female doctor or nurse does the test for you if that will make you feel more comfortable.  
If you would prefer not to do the test at your GP surgery, then you can have it done at your local family planning or sexual health clinic privately.  
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