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Today in parliament, MPs debate the age at which the cervical screening (a smear test) programme begins. The debate is taking place because of a petition which was created by Natasha Sale and gathered over 160,000 signatures. Natasha Sale was diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 28 and very sadly passed away at the age of 31.
Natasha’s story is incredibly sad. We are thinking of her family and friends who have had to go through this.
Please be aware that this blog contains content that may be distressing to read.
There are lots reasons why women and people with a cervix find it hard to go for cervical screening (smear tests). The Hawa Trust work with communities affected by FGM and we spoke with Hawa Sesay, their Executive Director, about the experience of screening for women who have undergone FGM.
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 pleasant and can be uncomfortable or difficult for many reasons, the majority of women do not have a bad experience. When women do have bad experiences, it is sometimes a combination of several factors instead of just one thing, these reasons can be very personal and varied.