Everyone has a different experience of cervical screening. If you are looking for ways to make cervical screening (a smear test) better for you, there are lots of things you can try.
💜Talk to your nurse or doctor. If it is your first cervical screening, you feel embarrassed or worried, you have had a bad experience before, or you have experienced anything that makes the test hard for you, telling the person doing the test means they can try to give you the right support. If you don’t feel comfortable saying something, try writing it down.
💖Ask for the first appointment of the day
If you feel uncomfortable in waiting rooms, you may want to ask to book the first appointment of the day. This can mean it is quieter and there is less time for you to wait.
💓Ask to book a longer or double appointment. Having more time before, during or after cervical screening can help people take in information about the test and process everything that happens. If this would be useful for you, you may want to check if your GP surgery can offer you a longer appointment.
💗Ask for a nurse or doctor of a particular gender. If you have a nurse or doctor you trust, you may want to check with your GP surgery if they are able to do it.
💞Take someone you trust with you. It could be a friend, family member, partner or someone else. They can be in the waiting room or examination room with you to offer support. If a trusted person isn’t able to come to the appointment, you can check if another member of staff can be with for support. This person is sometimes called a chaperone.
💝Wear a skirt or dress. If you feel comfortable wearing a skirt or dress, it may help you feel more covered. You can keep it on during the test and only take off your underwear. You do get a paper sheet to cover yourself too.