under 25's and smears - please read

hi girls - i've just added to the other post, but i know with long posts they dont all get read.... i've copied and pasted from the other.....

girls, i hate to say this but i am somewhat worried that this post is going to cause a lot of you to get very worried..

firstly, it does not matter how old you were when you first had sex, doesnt matter how many children you have had, in England, no-one under the age of 25 will be offered a smear test. (unless of immunosupression - ie HIV)

there are a number of reasons for this -
1) research showed that a massive number of young girls were having surgery on their cervix due to "abnormal" smears - when the cervix was closely examined, it was felt that the cells originally thought to be abnormal were in fact immature. any sort of surgery on your cervix can have dire consequences - for example, when pregnant these women are at higher risk of what is called an incompetent cervix - more prone to premature labour / recurrent miscarriage

2) in MOST cases, cervical cancer is a slow progressing cancer, and with most women, would take approximately 10yrs to manifest itself and cause a lot of problems. this is why the smears are offered "no more frequently than 3 yrs but no less than 5yrs" (unless of a previous abnormal one). this is how they came up with the age of 25, as it should still be early enough to pick up an abnormal smear and treat it effectively

3)the number of women younger than 25 to have had cervical cancer -NOT the same as abnormal cells (cells can be Pre cancerous)- was very very low when the study was completed for them to change the limit. as more often than not, women would present with other problems too - abnormal / offensive bleeding being one of the signs (note this can happen with other things too)

secondly, it is highly unlikely you would have had a smear when pregnant. because of the hormonal changes when pregnant, a smear result would not be reliable- the same way hormones affect young girls etc

if when the doctor looks at a cervix and feels it looks unhealthy, then he might refer to a) a more senior dr b) a colposcopy (where they look at the cervix with microscopes / dyes etc).

please try not to worry that just as you are not being screened doesnt necessarily mean that you will not get it detected. if still really worried, ask to speak with your GP / practice nurse, or look at the following document by the Dept of Health


*********** http://www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/cervical/ ***********

[Modified by: ollier2001 on 18 February 2009 14:46:51 ]


  • it wouldnt be that you are wasting your time, but what they are saying is that there probably wouldnt be a great deal of difference if you waited until you were 25...

    if you had abnormal cells now, they would treat you / observe you then re-smear in a few months - in that time, your smear could be normal again....

    what they are saying is over a period of a few yrs, cells do not always change enough for the to be a problem to you

    does that make sense?
  • thanx for the info hun xx
  • Ollier you know i have the greatest respect for your opinion, however on this matter I will have to disagree.

    My mum works in cytology and whilst she agrees you make valid points all of which she agrees with her and her collegues feel screaning in england shd be offered at 20 as it is in scotland and wales.

    I agree that the chances are v slim and statistacally you are much more likely to be killed in a RTC and people shdnt be worried but i feel that ppl should be made aware and allowed the smear if they request.

  • yeah thanks Niki, its always good to have someone in the know! xx
  • hi DB!

    i haven't listed all this to cause an arguement at all, but just to explain what the recommendations are and why they are what they are!!

    nowhere did i say that it was what i thought!!

    personally, i agree you and with your mum - i am of the opinion that if someone is screened earlier, then they can be observed / treated if required - your mum will tell you that what i have put is what the Government recommends. i've asked some of our Consultants at work, and some of them agree with me and your mum, but it doesnt stop what is recommended!

    when the screening came into effect i was doing part of my degree - i did a module on cervical screening, so i looked at this, and i was very surprised that they were going to change it to 25!

  • This 25 year age limit does worry me. I first started having them at 18 (because that was the limit at the time), I just feel like its purely a cost cutting reason that they won't give them until 25. I fully accept that I may be completely wrong, but if so why do all other civilised countries offer them from 18? Why do they not also think 25 is the magic age?
  • Ollier, i love you too much ever to argue, sorry didnt mean to attribute your opinions it just worrys me that their are a group of women classed too young for a smear but too old for the vacination

  • I'm 22 and very worried about the fact I havent had one, and wont for 3 years. We have cancer in the family, my dad died of it, my grandad and grandma now have it too, so I am incredibly worried. I'm going to ring my doctors and if they wont do one, i'm having one done privately.

  • oh hon! i love you too!! :lol:

    i only posted this so women knew why they weren't called!! i was worried some didnt know why!

  • i was sent letters about mine twice and had two done when i lived in england the first when i was 19 second when i was 21
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