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Twitter and Jo's launch #EndSmearFear campaign

We've partnered with Twitter to encourage supportive conversations about vaginas, cervixes and cervical screening (smear tests). 

Join us this Sexual Health Awareness Week (16th - 22nd September) as we launch the #EndSmearFear campaign.

The #EndSmearFear campaign

Twitter logo

We know that smear tests aren't easy for everyone. Fear, not understanding what the test is for and embarrassment make booking and going for a test hard. For other women, including survivors of sexual violence or those with some health conditions, it can be especially difficult.

Social media is a fantastic place for people to ask questions, share tips and get support and, along with Twitter, we want to encourage supportive conversations to help address some of the concerns and uncertainty that exists. We've seen lots of examples of Twitter being used in positive ways and want this to continue.

Among young women, 1 in 3 currently don't take up their smear test invitation and in some parts of the UK this is as high as 1 in 2. We want to change this. The #EndSmearFear campaign aims to normalise chat about smear tests, cervixes and vaginas on Twitter and create a safe space to ask questions and support others.

How to get involved

We are asking people to share their smear test tips.

We're also setting out with Twitter asking people which emoji they would use to describle female genitalia - especially the vulva or vagina. We all know what the aubergine stands for, but a lot of people don’t know what emoji they’d use for the vagina. What would you use?

Join the conversation on Twitter (follow us here)!

Choose your favourite vagina emoji and share a tweet with #EndSmearFear, offering a smear test tip, word of support or your experience, for example:

Smear tests aren't always easy but let’s help #EndSmearFear by talking more about our vaginas, cervixes and smear tests. There’s no vagina emoji but my favourite is <insert your favourite emoji!> and my smear test tip is <add your tip or a word of support>. What's yours? @JoTrust

Cervical screening tips

Do you have any tips to make cervical screening easier? Here are some useful ones to know:

  • Listen to music or a podcast
  • Wear a skirt or a dress to feel less exposed
  • Take someone you trust with you
  • Speak to Jo’s
  • Tell your nurse about your worries
  • Ask a friend about their experience
  • Breathing exercises
  • Treat yourself afterwards
  • Book a double or longer appointment
  • You can ask for a nurse of a particular gender
  • You can ask for a smaller speculum
  • You can lie in a different position

Ways to talk about screening supportively

  • Acknowledge that it is not always easy
  • Avoid language that takes away choice or makes assumptions about how others may feel
  • Ask what someone finds difficult about the test
  • Share our tips and information pages
  • Share your own tips
  • Point towards our Helpline: At Jo’s we’re here to support those who are nervous or have questions. The volunteers who staff our Helpline are there to listen, to understand and to be non-judgemental
  • Talk about the support others can provide on our Forum where many people share their experiences and ask questions about cervical screening and beyond 

Getting support

If you have questions or concerns about cervical screening, we have lots of information and support available.

Call our helpline

Call us for free on 0808 802 8000 to ask questions, get information or talk about how you're feeling.

View opening times

Let's talk

Our series of blogs address some of the barriers to cervical screening and include useful information and tips. 

Read our blogs