Cervical screening for women who have experienced sexual assault
This video describes the support available for women who find cervical screening difficult because of previous sexual assault.
For more information on cervical screening visit https://www.nhs.uk/cervical-screening
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It may be easier for you if the person taking your smear has a fullunderstanding of the particular issues that you are experiencingbut there's no necessity to disclose.Everybody who attends for a smear appointment will begiven a basic level of information. You may even want to handle the instrumentsso that you're familiar with them before we use them.Remember a smear test is a collaboration between you and your smear taker.You should consent to the procedure and you shouldbe sharing the control with them.If you do feel able to tell us what has happened to youwe can make extra provision for you.For example we could make a double appointment or we could give you the lastappointment of that clinic for the day so that you don't feel as rushed.If you want to tell us something but don't feel able to say it try writing it downon a piece of paper or card and handing that to us so we can read it.You can always bring someone to accompany you to your smear test.This person can act as your voice or act as your advocate and so it's very importantthat you feel confident that you can do this.Remember that your GP service can do the smear test but also most family planningclinics, sexual health clinics and there may even be a well woman clinic in yourlocal hospital who can do the smear test for you.Every woman feels embarrassed during her smear test. If you think there arecertain things that make you particularly embarrassed, if you feelyou're scarred or damage from the rape or abuse, I can only reassure you that yoursmear taker does not register these things. If you feel more comfortabledisclosing them to your smear taker before they examine you,that might make it easier for you.Your local sexual assault referral centre can also provide ongoing help and supportFor more information visit www.nhs.uk/sexualassault