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Cases of cervical cancer in women under 25 are rare, with only 2 in every 100 women being diagnosed below the age of 25 years. These women most often present with symptoms that are typical of cervical cancer, of which abnormal vaginal bleeding either between periods or during or after sex is the most common.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding is extremely common and can be caused by a variety of factors, including cervical ectropion, hormonal changes caused by the contraceptive pill or benign cervical polyps, or sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia.
The guidelines produced by the Department of Health for young women (aged 20–24) who are experiencing abnormal bleeding state that women who are experiencing vaginal bleeding after sex and in between periods require a pelvic examination by their GP. The guidelines also detail the types of questions GPs need to ask in order to establish if the symptoms could be related to cervical cancer.
We have specially commissioned online information for women under 25 years old and their relationship to cervical cancer. You can signpost your patients to this information or order our free printed resources on screening.