Embarrassment is keeping young women from getting smear tests, a survey rays.
According to the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust that conducted a survey of 2,017 British women, one-third of females are avoiding getting smear tests because they are afraid their pubic areas might look and smell bad, the BBC reports.
Getting a smear test can prevent 75% of cervical cancers, but almost two-thirds of the women surveyed were not aware of the risk. The charity stated that cervical cancer is the third most common cause for cancer in women under 35 years old. Around 220,000 British women are diagnosed with cervical abnormalities annually.
The survey found that young females are embarrassed to get a smear test because of body shape (35%), vulva appearance (34%), and worries over genital smell. Around 30% said that they would not go to smear tests if they had not shaved or waxed their bikini areas, while 15% said they would miss their smear tests for activities like gym sessions or waxing appointments.
Please don’t let unhappiness or uncertainty about your body stop you from attending what could be a life-saving test,
Robert Music, of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said. “Nurses are professionals who carry out millions of tests every year, they can play a big part in ensuring women are comfortable.”
Of five million women in the United Kingdom who are encouraged to get their cervical screening every year, one in four did not show up. The statistics are particularly bad in some cities and towns, such as Glasgow.
Music said, “Every area has different demographics, pressures and geography.” The charity found that a third of local healthcare providers and councils have not made any efforts to raise the number of women taking smear tests. He added, “There is already so much great work being done across the UK, however, if this is not amplified and prioritized, we will continue to see a decline in cervical screening coverage and ultimately lives lost.”