Are you around “menopause” and have put off your cervical screening test? January encourages us to look after our cervical health and make “that” appointment.
Cervical Health Awareness Month 2021
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Menopause and Cervical Screening Tips
What if around “menopause”, cervical screening has become harder?
In Blog: Let’s Talk About… Smear Tests After Menopause: Why Might Cervical Screening Become Harder After the Menopause? the (United Kingdom) Jo’s Cervical Trust elaborate on:
As these hormones decrease, your vagina may become drier and less stretchy, so when you try to put something like a speculum, used during cervical screening, into your vagina, it may be uncomfortable or even painful. But, thankfully, it’s often easy to treat – here are some of our top tips:
- Ask the nurse to use a smaller speculum. Yes, speculums come in different sizes! As your vagina changes, a speculum that was fine before may no longer be right for you. You can ask to try out different sizes to find what works best
- Ask the nurse to use a water-based lubricant on the speculum. This can help the speculum go in more comfortably
- Try using a vaginal moisturiser before your appointment. A moisturiser is different to a lubricant – it can be applied regularly, sometimes daily, and goes into your vagina instead of onto whatever is being inserted. You can get vaginal moisturisers from most pharmacies, without a prescription however you can also ask your nurse or GP to prescribe it for you
- Ask your nurse or GP to prescribe you hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or local oestrogen. HRT replaces the hormones which are no longer made in your body, and can help with lots of the symptoms of the menopause, including vaginal dryness. HRT comes in many forms, such as a daily tablet or skin patch, but also as a gel or a cream, which you may see called local oestrogen. You apply the gel or cream to your vagina. Recently, there have been lots of news stories about HRT, which may have worried you, but often the benefits of the treatment outweigh any risks. You may want to speak with your nurse or GP to make a decision based on your situation”.
Postmenopause, can I stop cervical screening?
Different countries can have different guidelines about the age at which to stop cervical screening (e.g. from 64 to 74 years) and different women can have different requirements.
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