Residents encouraged to attend their cervical screening appointments

19 June 2023 3 min read

This Cervical Screening Awareness Week (19th – 24th June), Sefton Council is reminding all women and people with a cervix to attend their cervical screening appointment as soon as they receive their invite.

Between the ages of 25 and 64, regular screenings are vital to check for HPV, regardless of whether the person has received the HPV vaccine previously.

Cancer risk

HPV stands for human papillomavirus. There are over 200 types of HPV, some of which more high risk and linked to cancer.

Pink wording that reads "Cervical screening awareness week, 19th-24th June 2023".Because there are so many strains of HPV, even someone who has had their HPV vaccine can still contract some of these higher risk strains.

Cervical screening can identify whether someone is at higher risk of developing cervical cell changes or cervical cancer early on. 

Appointments available

It isn’t just GPs who can perform the checks. Appointments can be made at sexual health clinics within Sefton, based in Southport and Bootle.

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health said: “Many people may avoid booking a cervical screening due to fear or uncertainty of what happens during the appointment.

“The test only takes a few minutes and may feel uncomfortable, but it should not be painful.

“If you are feeling any discomfort, you can tell the nurse and they will be happy to talk through the process with you if you are worried.

"Cervical screening is so important to help prevent cervical cancer by checking for signs of HPV.

“Attending your appointment could save your life.”

Top tips

Some suggested ways to make the screening more comfortable include:

  • Wearing a skirt or dress.
  • Asking for a smaller speculum if it is painful.
  • Asking for a nurse or doctor of a certain gender.
  • Asking to lie in a different position.
  • Taking a trusted person along to the appointment.
  • Speaking to the nurse or doctor about any concerns beforehand.
  • The Sefton Sexual Health Service has a form of requests that can be downloaded in advance.

To find out more and how to book an appointment, visit the Sefton Sexual Health website.

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