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LGBTQ+ Pride Month

We want to tackle the myths surrounding cervical screening

Anyone with a cervix (aged 25 to 64) is eligible to attend cervical screening. This includes cisgender women, trans men and non binary people registered female at birth. It is estimated that having smears prevents 70% of cervical cancer deaths. 83% of deaths could be prevented if everyone who needs screening attended regularly.

You should consider having a smear test no matter what your sexuality is. 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 and 40.5% of LGB women of screening age have been incorrectly told they do not need to attend because of their sexual orientation. This has had a lasting impact of declining smear test attendance in the LGB community.

The smear test itself

Tips which can make your smear test easier (Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, 2018)

  • If it is your first smear test, you’re feeling nervous or you have had a bad experience in the past, tell your nurse.
  • You can ask for a smaller speculum, this may make the test more comfortable.
  • During the appointment, you will be offered a paper covering for your bottom half, but you may feel more comfortable bringing a shirt to cover up. You could also wear a dress or skirt.
  • If you don’t want to go to the appointment alone, you can take someone you trust with you. They can speak on your behalf or simply be there to offer support.
  • If you have vaginal dryness, you can ask the nurse to give you a vaginal oestrogen cream or pessary. This can make inserting the speculum easier.
  • Some women find different positions can reduce pain and make them feel more comfortable. You can speak about this with the nurse.

If you are still unsure about whether you need a smear test or are nervous, please contact us and we can discuss how we can support you in making and attending an appointment.

LGBTQ+ Support

The BeYou Project (Porchlight) www.thebeyouproject.co.uk/

Imaan- LGBTQ+ muslims www.imaanlondon.wordpress.com/

METRO Stand Out Youth group for LGBTQ+ people aged between 16 and 25 in Medway. www.metrocharity.org.uk/youth/metro-stand-out

Medway Gender Sexual Diversity Centre www.mgsd-centre.org/ www.mgsd-centre.org/segi-youth-group/

Trans and Gender Variant Support

Gendered intelligence www.genderedintelligence.co.uk/

Mermaids www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/

Stonewall www.stonewall.org.uk/

GALOP– domestic abuse charity www.galop.org.uk/

Albert Kennedy Trust – LQBTQ+ Homelessness charity: www.akt.org.uk/

More information:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-population-screening-information-for-transgender-people/nhs-population-screening-information-for-trans-people

www.livethroughthis.co.uk/removethedoubt/

www.livethroughthis.co.uk/my-cervix-my-service/

Visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/maritimehealthpartnership/