There are no products in your shopping cart.
This blog talks about cervical screening (smear tests) after the menopause, whether natural or triggered by treatment for cervical cancer.
If you’ve had cervical cancer treatment and are currently going through the menopause or are post-menopausal, you may be having a different kind of test known as a vault smear. This blog post may be useful for you, but you may also need further support from your healthcare team.
The menopause, whether natural or triggered by treatment, can be difficult both physically and mentally. This is true no matter what age it happens. One thing which can become harder is cervical screening. We hear from lots of women who find that the menopause makes screening feel like a different experience to tests before it started, so if you feel this way, you’re not alone.
When you go into the menopause, your body loses female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, which are needed for things like periods and pregnancy. These hormones also help to lubricate your vagina and keep the tissue that makes up the vaginal walls stretchy.
As these hormones decrease, your vagina may become drier and less stretchy, so when you try to put something like a speculum, used during cervical screening, into your vagina, it may be uncomfortable or even painful. But, thankfully, it’s often easy to treat – here are some of our top tips:
As well as vaginal dryness, the menopause can have other symptoms that may make cervical screening more difficult for you. Symptoms like mood changes – perhaps feeling more anxious or low – can make it hard to book and attend an appointment, while regular hot flushes may make you worry about managing one if it happens during the test. While none of these symptoms are pleasant, there are ways to deal with them and don’t forget there are lots of other women going through exactly the same thing so you are not alone in your experience.
We know that cervical screening may also be difficult for reasons not related to the menopause, so here are some tips that might help:
Read more about making cervical screening more comfortable >
Provides support to women, along with their families and partners, who have been diagnosed with premature ovarian insufficiency.
The woman’s arm of the British Menopause Society (BMS). Provide information and support about the menopause, including benefits and risks.
Has an information hub about women’s health covering the menopause and beyond.
Categories: cervical screening