It found that of 915 women who had delayed a test or never gone for screening, 71% felt scared while 75% felt vulnerable. (81% said they felt embarrassed, while 67% said they would not feel in control. They found that those aged 25 to 35 are also put off by the idea of a stranger examining them.
Figures show that cervical screening rates among all ages are at their lowest for two decades. Almost one in three women aged 25 to 64 have not had a smear test within the timeframe the NHS recommends, which is every three years for women aged 25 to 49, and every five years for those aged 50 to 64.
It's Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, with the aim of raising awareness of how the disease can be prevented. Every year in the UK, around 3,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under.
Cervical cancer is not thought to be hereditary. In 99.7% of cases, cervical cancers are caused by persistent infections with the virus high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common virus transmitted through skin to skin contact in the genital area. Approximately 80% of sexually active adults will be infected with some type of HPV in their lives. However, for the majority of women this will not result in cervical cancer; while HPV infection is common, cervical cancer is rare.
Don't let your fears stop you booking or attending your test. Contact your GP surgery today.