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For lots of women and people with a cervix, smear tests (cervical screening) are something that might feel a bit uncomfortable or embarrassing, but is over and done with quickly.

Ahead of the third and final part of the new Jade Goody documentary on Channel 4, we’re discussing the sorts of conversations it will inspire, and how we can make sure they are as positive as possible.

We’ve released a new report today highlighting a barrier to cervical screening which is frankly disgraceful: physical disability.

Smear tests can be difficult for a variety of reasons, but some women can face additional barriers to getting tested. This includes women with a range of physical disabilities such as muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis.

Please be aware that this blog contains content that may be distressing to read.

This blog was originally written for the LGBT Foundation

There are many reasons which can make attending smear tests difficult. Things such as fear, embarrassment, anxiety and a previous bad experience can all mean even taking the first step to book an appointment can be hard.

If you have had a bad experience at a smear test, it can understandably have a negative impact on how you feel about going for a test in the future.

While smear tests are not always easy, for many women they’re over in a few minutes and they can continue with their day, knowing that the job’s been ticked off. 

For a lot of people, it’s a five minute appointment that may be slightly uncomfortable and embarrassing, but is over and done with quickly. But for others, smear tests aren’t just uncomfortable – they hurt and some women find them extremely...

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