Mr Ayoubi explains the advantages of using Macrolane
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in a woman's cervix (the neck of the womb). The first stage in cervical screening is taking a sample using liquid based cytology
A sample of cells is taken from the cervix for analysis. A doctor or nurse inserts an instrument (a speculum) to open the woman's vagina and uses a spatula to sweep around the cervix. Most women consider the procedure to be only mildly uncomfortable.
Early detection and treatment can prevent 75 per cent of cancers developing but like other screening tests, it is not perfect. It may not always detect early cell changes that could lead to cancer.
All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical screening test every three to five years.
Women are offered screening at different intervals depending on age. This means that women are provided with a more targeted and effective screening programme.
The screening intervals are:
|Age group (years)||Frequency of screening|
|25 - 49||3 yearly|
|50 - 64||5 yearly|
|65+||Only screen those who have not been screened since age 50 or have had recent abnormal tests|
Are woman who are not sexually active eligible for screening?
If a woman has never been sexually active, then the research evidence shows that her chance of developing cervical cancer is very low indeed. We do not say no risk, only very low risk. In these circumstances, a woman might choose to decline the invitation for cervical screening on this occasion. If a woman is not currently sexually active but has been in the past, then we would recommend that she continues screening.
How is the cervical screening test performed?
Cervical screening is done using a test called liquid-based cytology. It’s a very simple procedure and takes less than five minutes. It can be uncomfortable but shouldn’t be painful. There are no side effects, and once it’s over you should be able to get back to your normal day. The person carrying out the test will explain the procedure, and you should feel able to ask questions at any time.
Once you’re lying comfortably on the couch, the doctor or nurse will gently put an instrument called a speculum into your vagina so that your cervix can be seen. A special brush will be used to gently take cells from the cervix. The head of the brush is then either rinsed into a small container of preservative, or snapped off and put into the container. The container will be sent to the laboratory for examination.
In the laboratory, any blood or mucus that could spoil the test is removed from the sample. Then a thin layer of cervical cells are then spread onto a slide and examined under a microscope.
How do I prepare for the test?
Many women feel nervous and embarrassed about going for a cervical screening test. These are natural emotions and they shouldn’t stop you having it done. If you feel unsure about having the test, it may be helpful to discuss your concerns and worries with the gynaecologist at the London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic.. They will talk to you about the screening and reassure you so you feel able to have the test.
Before you have your cervical screening test, you may find it helpful to consider the following factors:
- The best time to have the test is before or after your period, when you are not bleeding.
- If you’re pregnant when you are invited for your routine cervical screening test, tell us and we will usually recommend that you wait to have your test three months after you have given birth. Occasionally, you may be asked to have a screening test while you’re pregnant.