57% of women are putting off their cervical screening because the beauty salons are closed. It doesn't need to be purrfect.
Join us and share your best 'lockdown look' via cat picture at #MyCat
It's time to let the cat out the bag....
"57% of women who regularly have their pubic hair professionally removed would put off attending their cervical screening appointment if they hadn’t been able to visit a beauty salon."
We know it's a bit awkward to reveal your undercarriage/flower/bits (technical term vulva!) to the nurses for your screening, but trust us - they've seen it all before.
Lots of us have had to abandon our usual 'grooming' regimes this last year... Our nails are unmanicured, our hair needs a cut, and let's not even get started on the waxing situation (for those who like that kind of thing).
BUT. What matters here truly is the inside and NOT the out. So let's not let our unruly aesthetics get in the way of our health. What's more, let's normalise our vulvas in their many shapes, sizes and 'haircuts' and laugh off any lingering embarrassment in true British style. That's the goal here.
So... cats. The internet's favourite animal and long emblematic of our nether regions. In this campaign, we are relying on these furry friends to help us illustrate that - however 'cats' look - we love them and need to look after them. We hope you'll join us in sharing the most hilarious cat picture/meme you can find - perhaps a cat that reflects your current 'lockdown look' - to remind everyone that no matter the aesthetics, cats of all kinds deserve looking after. So don't miss your screening.
myGP's biggest cat lovers
When I was 25 I was invited for my first cervical screening, I am quite health anxious and knew that I needed to book it in with the nurse at my GP surgery. As it was my first one, I was a little bit nervous but I needn't have been - everyone was so lovely. They completed the procedure and I went home and around two-weeks later I got my results.
When I read the results which stated they had found abnormalities I was really concerned - as to be honest, I wasn't too sure what it meant. I had to attend a secondary appointment where they were able to remove the abnormal cells, the whole procedure was a lot quicker than I imagined.
After the procedure
Now I am able to reflect on it, I am so glad that I attended that initial appointment, those few abnormal cells could have developed into something much worse and a lot less treatable.
It is a worry that people are not attending their screening due to embarrassment, the nurses have seen it all before, and your health is the most important thing that you have. So I ask everyone eligible - please please if you are due one, book in your screening.
What is cervical screening?
- Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, it is to help prevent cancer
- Cervical screening (or a smear test) checks your cervix health. Your cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina.
- All women and people with a cervix aged 25-64 will be invited to book their cervical screening via letter and/or SMS reminder
- You will be asked to undress from the waste down and a small sample of cells will be collected from your cervix via a very quick swab
What are they checking for, if it isn't cancer?
- The sample taken is checked for human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause changes to the cells of your cervix. These are called "high risk" types of HPV.
- Not all types of HPV are high risk and approximately 80% of sexually active adults have HPV
- If your screening shows the types of HPV that have the potential to cause cancer the sample is then checked for any changes in the cells of your cervix.
- These can then be treated before they get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.
- You'll get your results by letter, usually in about 2 weeks. It will explain what happens next.
Find out more on the NHS website
Last year we called for NHSX to make SMS reminders for all cancer screenings mandatory. A simple SMS reminder, sent after a letter invitation, increased attendance at screenings by 5% - possibly saving 7800 lives. Join us and sign our petition for this simple, cost-effective solution to be implemented nationally.