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let's talk

Let’s talk about… why sensitivity matters

Posted on: Wednesday, 21st August 2019 by

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.

Let's talk about...how to access smear tests if you have a physical disability

Posted on: Thursday, 8th August 2019 by

We’ve released a new report today highlighting a barrier to cervical screening which is frankly disgraceful: physical disability. We were shocked by what we found.

Two thirds of women with a physical disability say they have been unable to attend cervical screening because of their disability. We heard from others who have been told they can’t have a test and worryingly numbers who have faced stigma and misconceptions along the way.

Let’s talk about…accessing smear tests when you have a physical disability

Posted on: Wednesday, 23rd January 2019 by

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. While in some areas women are able to access smear tests, whether through home visits, equipped GPs or provision to attend in other settings such hospitals, this is unequal across the county and mean some women are missing out on tests that could potentially save their lives. 

Let’s talk about… smear tests and FGM

Posted on: Monday, 6th August 2018 by

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.

Let’s talk about it…smear tests for lesbian, gay and bisexual women

Posted on: Wednesday, 13th June 2018 by

This blog was originally written for the LGBT Foundation

According to the LGBT Foundation, 17.8% of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) women of eligible screening age (25 to 64) have never been for cervical screening.

Cervical screening (often called a smear test), prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers developing and not attending is actually the biggest risk factor to developing cervical cancer.

Let’s talk about it…difficulty accessing a smear test appointment

Posted on: Monday, 11th June 2018 by

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. However another barrier to smear tests is physically being able to access the test and more and more women are telling us that they are struggling to get appointments.

Let’s Talk about it…having a bad experience at a smear test

Posted on: Friday, 11th May 2018 by

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.

Let’s talk about it… anxiety and smear tests

Posted on: Tuesday, 27th February 2018 by

While smear tests are not enjoyable, 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. 

Let's talk about it

However, for other women, going for their smear test is not as simple.

Let’s talk about it… sometimes smear tests are painful

Posted on: Tuesday, 30th January 2018 by

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 painful.

Let’s talk about it…smear tests after experiencing sexual violence

Posted on: Friday, 26th January 2018 by

As part of our new blog series "Let's talk about it" Louise Cadman, Research Nurse Consultant at Queen Mary University of London and on the Management Committee of the My Body Back Project, addresses some of the issues around having a smear test after experiencing sexual violence (***Trigger warning: this blog is about sexual violence***).