To join a Welsh GP in order to get smear

(81 Posts)
99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 11:50:17

Not sure if this is even possible, but I am considering joining a Welsh GP practice so I am eligible for a smear test. I'm 23, in the age group that were too old for the cervical cancer jab and too young for smears. I know all the arguments about why women under 25 are not routinely offered smear tests but I believe it really comes down to budget.

A colleague, the same age as me, has recently been diagnosed with cervical cancer. Her doctor told her living in Wales has probably saved her life as the cancer wouldn't have been detected had she lived 10 minutes away in England. She had no symptoms whatsoever. I work in Wales so joining a practice there would be practical and closer to work.

My mum needed treatment for an abnormal smear at a similar age to me, so I really am anxious about having a test. I enquired into having it done privately and was quoted £300! No way I can afford that.

So WIBU? As I said I'm not even sure if it would make me eligible as I'm not Welsh.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 11:51:39

Have you spoken to your English GP about it...citing your reasons why you would like a test done sooner than is routine ?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 02-Apr-13 11:52:13

I would try putting your concerns to your GP first and see if they will do one. If not, try your local family planning clinic or GUM clinic, they might do it instead. Failing that then YANBU and should join the Welsh practice if they'll have you!

Eskino Tue 02-Apr-13 11:53:27

You have to have a welsh home address sad

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 11:54:37

I did approach GP about 1.5 years ago who refused, giving me the usual 'does more harm than good' etc etc...

Now due to the situation with my colleague, I am even more desperate for one.

Would local GUM be more likely to do one? I have also heard about the labs sending the test back if a woman is under 25 in England.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 02-Apr-13 11:55:44

If you can, then I say do it. I had had several smear tests by the time I was 23 - is it a recent cost cutting exercise thing that they no longer do this?

My friend had abnormal cells diagnosed when she was in her early 20's. She is fine but it was worth knowing so she could have more regular smears.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 11:55:53

A smear test doesn't "do harm" confused

TomDudgeon Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:23

I would talk to gp first but I completely understand why you want to and wouldn't discourage you if your gp was no help.

I had a smear when I was 21 as routine (ten years ago). They only changed it to save money not for medical reasons

ElliesWellies Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:42

Ask to see a different GP if they have more than one at your practice. Don't talk about your colleague to them - that isn't an argument that will persuade them, I shouldn't think. Concentrate on your family history, i.e. your mum's abnormal smear result.

TomDudgeon Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:54

Sorry took ages to type
Maybe try a different doc at your practice

EuroShaggleton Tue 02-Apr-13 11:56:56

One of the family planning clinics (marie stopes?) will do them privately for £80.

I had an entire medical last year (blood tests, ECG, smear, everything) for about £350 and that was in London.

I can see why your friend's situation has worried you, but really, cervical cancer is very rare in your age group. However, abnormalities that would resolve themselves in time are common, so a smear is very unlikely to discover cancer but quite likely to uncover an abnormality that will cause you loads of worry.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 02-Apr-13 11:57:43

I would go and ask another GP at your practice if you want one, but if they say no you will have to stump up for a private test. We have had to pay privately to get decent treatment, I think more and more NHS services re heading this way tbh.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 12:02:02

If I could get one for £80 I'd do it... I rang the Nuffield who quoted 300 total as they charged for a consultation and then to go and get your results!

The argument about it doing harm is apparently in under 25s cells are constantly changing/immature ad these throw up false abnormal results, leading to unnecessary treatment that can effect fertility etc.

I read somewhere that the younger you are when you have yur first baby, the more prone you are to CC. I has ds at 18, but not sure if this is because they associate that with promiscuity.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 12:03:37

Oh also when I went to GP she said if a private smear gave me abnormal result, I'd have to pay for treatment, not sure if that's the case?

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 12:11:10

Ah, I see. I thought the GP had meant the procedure itself caused harm.

TheCraicDealer Tue 02-Apr-13 12:30:55

GP said if a private smear gave me abnormal result, I'd have to pay for treatment

You have got to be shitting me. That can't be right, can it?! Luckily I'm in NI and we get them here from 18 or 19, every four years.

OrangeLily Tue 02-Apr-13 12:35:49

YANBU. Iv been watched since about 20 for abnormal results and Im in Scotland.

5 of my friends have all had treatment in their early and mid twenties.

sashh Tue 02-Apr-13 13:27:40

Change your GP. I've had smears since I became sexually active.

I've taught a 17 year old who needed them every 3 months.

GPs do not get paid for them if you are outside the age group, but they can still do them.

Go to FPC and lie about your age?

I'm not sure about in England or Wales but in Scotland we don't need to give our real name or age at the FPC.

Also, what about getting an IUD or IUS? I think you are routinely given a smear before you have one fitted, just in case.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 13:48:26

I have an IUD fitted, no smear though. Had it done at local family planning so they would have my details on file? Have an appointment at GUM tonight, I'm tempted to lie about symptoms.

I rang Marie Stopes, they do it for £77 which is great but are in London and latest time in the day they can see me is 10am, so I'd have to stay the night, can't do it.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 13:54:09

Do you actually have any symptoms, love ?

I am absolutely not downplaying your fears and believe the chance should be available to you, but would it be an option to simply wait until you are 25 ? Get it booked and ready on your 25th birthday...a matter of months ?

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 13:59:49

I've just turned 23 so it's 2 years away. No, no symptoms, but neither did my colleague who has CC.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 14:02:24

Fair enough

wetsand Tue 02-Apr-13 14:08:01

You may not be able to - IIRC a welsh GP practice will need proof of your home address (in wales!) before they will let you sign up.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 14:10:57

Damn it, thought that may be the case. I cannot believe the situation myself and so many others are in. The private clinics around here ripping people off (cheapest I found today was £180 - cost of NHS smear is £50) are just as bad.

DragonMamma Tue 02-Apr-13 14:15:02

I'm Welsh and have never needed to give proof of address when I've moved out of area and needed to change practices.

YANBU, I've recently had my 5th smear and I'm only 30 this year...I think my first was at 16/17 but still not sure how I've had so many. I know plenty of women who have had abnormal cells longer before the age of 25 here.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 14:17:08

DragonMamma do you mean in English practices you would still be entitled to smear or do you mean when you have moved around Wales? I wonder if they'd be stricter here as the practices would be so close to the border.

DragonMamma Tue 02-Apr-13 14:21:56

Sorry, I meant changed areas locally. When I moved around the country I stayed registered with my hometown practice out of pure laziness.

I would still chance it - don't mention it at the registration as they ask you whether you're up to date with them, when I wasn't they booked me in there and then for the following week.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 14:23:57

Thanks DragonMamma, if I get nowhere with local GUM tonight I will try Wales.

specialsubject Tue 02-Apr-13 14:31:54

you need a Welsh home address to register with a Welsh GP.

I'm sorry about your friend - but as you realise, her situation has no bearing on you. It does indeed come down to budget.

your friend doesn't have to pay for her prescriptions, either.

HoneyStepMummy Tue 02-Apr-13 14:39:15

After having my 1st abnormal PAP at 25 I had them every 6 months for about two years. Very grateful to have private medical insurance.
I believe raising the age limit has all to do with saving money. My friend is a GYNO and she said that you don't need to have PAPs until you are sexually active, even then 5-10 years after becoming sexually active is fine first your first PAP. Apparently it takes 5-10 years for HPV to alter cells. So if someone first has sex around 14 and has several partners, they are going to need a PAP before 25.
This just reminded me that I really need to make an appointment for myself. Good luck OP, hope you find a solution that works out for you.

NightFallsFast Tue 02-Apr-13 14:39:33

In my area of the UK the labs won't test smears from ladies under 25 unless it's paid for privately, so whichever GP you went to the answer would be the same. I you have symptoms the GP would examine you/do swabs/refer rather than take a smear.

The most recent research I've seen said there was no overall benefit to doing smears in under 25s once the benefits and harms were analysed, but I understand your concerns.

ISingSoprano Tue 02-Apr-13 14:41:53

Please don't keep blaming the GPs. The laboratory will reject the sample if you are outside the screening age. It is NOT the GPs fault.

dayshiftdoris Tue 02-Apr-13 14:43:05

That is the critical review of the evidence which led to the screening programme for England deciding to leave the age of first smear at 25yrs.

It's a contentious issue that has led to much discussion in the media and in the medical journals but one thing is absolutely agreed by all - The cervix is still maturing in the early 20's and immature cells can look like the early changes the cervical smear is looking for. They will never be cancer and are just normal cells which are immature... Thus you will get a large number of women who will have abnormal smears, indicating treatment that have no need for treatment.

No one disputes, in the medical research, that this maturing cervix exists but those in favour of smears under 25 argue that should 'abnormalities' be found in the under 25's the treatment should be a watch, wait and monitor not treat... but so far the decision in England is to not screen under 25yrs.

When your GP said 'More harm than good' it was this he was referring to... treatments for abnormalities is a LLETZ (Large loop excision of Transformation Zone) basically a mm of cervix is taken away and tho these are much better than the old cone biopsies some of the LLETZ can be very invasive and they can have implications on pregnancy and labour....
When it comes to treating a very, very early change that would become cancer then the benefits FAR outweigh the risks but the potential in the under 25 is you are removing NORMAL, HEALTHY cervix.

If you went for a smear in England (unless you paid private) even if someone took the smear the lab would probably return it. If you have symptoms they suggest referral to gynaecologist not smear and they won't even accept under 25 smears from a gynae cons unless its been discussed first.
I don't know about paying for treatment but some PCTs might say so because again they might argue that treatment in this age group is not indicated because of the changing cervix mimicking the very early changes to the cervix.

I don't think you are being unreasonable but I would ask that you read the NHS screening website and then make an informed decision to either pay privately or not and to have treatment if very early changes are discovered.

I did a literature review at masters in this area last year and what got me (and apologies OP for the side bar) is that the numbers of women aged 25-29 having smears (percentage wise of those eligible for smears) has been in steady decline for TEN YEARS! Even the Jade Goody publicity only caused a plateau for one year in this age group. Recent research has linked this decline directly to the increase of women under the age of 35yrs dying from cervical cancer.

The focus at present is to improve numbers of 25-29yr olds having smears as the risk of women dying from this cancer is much, much greater than in the under 25s.

dayshiftdoris Tue 02-Apr-13 14:52:11

Forgot to say also that HPV is presenting its own considerations and some countries are now trialling treatment ONLY for those women who are positive for HPV. If the HPV is negative then they say not to treat early changes.

However, there are rare documented cases of cancers in women who have never had sex and are HPV negative so even this is not a given.

If you have always used barrier methods of contraception then your risk of contracting HPV is much, much lower.

Wandastartup Tue 02-Apr-13 14:59:47

You don't need a welsh address( have English patients registered with welsh gps) but there are huge problems in terms of accessing healthcare from Wales ie cannot choose like in England. All care needs to take place at certain defined hospitals for the area. If you are keen to have a smear test I would pay and avoid the welsh NHS if at all possible..,

x2boys Tue 02-Apr-13 15:01:30

there is a solutin to having to have adress north wales is only abouth about an hour from us and a couple i used to wor with had a static caravan on a caraven park so they were able to register with GP in north wales

Forwardscatter Tue 02-Apr-13 15:14:17

What dayshift says. Cancer Research say the same thing.

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 15:19:45

I went to check the Marie Stopes website and their Bristol centre does smears too if you are near the southern end of the border could that help? Otherwise Leeds is surely closer than London?

Well, you could go to another FPC and give a different name/age etc. Their filing system isn't the same as the hospital or GP's and it is possible to give 2 different lots of details.

I have no idea how this would affect test results though, when people are talking about immaturity of the cervix?

littleducks Tue 02-Apr-13 15:52:40

I had a smear done by a NHS gynae consultant (I had some issues with bleeding as I hadnt ever had one due to age she did one to cover the bases when investigating other issues). It wasnt rejected by a lab, surely they cant do that.....your GP must be allowed to do one, for example of you had worrying symptoms?

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 16:07:39

Thank you dayshift, if the lab did return a sample, is it true they give a 'normal' result or will they let you know they haven't tested it?

Options seem pretty scarce, either pay but then pay for treatment if an abnormal result is found, which I can't afford


Try Wales in the hope that they will do it.

What confuses me is, why is England the only place with this upper age limit? And in light of the evidence, surely women should still have a choice as to their preference - take the risk of unnecessary treatment or wait until they are 25? I'm in a position where I feel I have made an informed desician, but have very little choice. Women under 25 do get cervical cancer, and whilst it is rare, it happens.

littleducks Tue 02-Apr-13 16:52:01

They should let you know they haven't tested it. I have just had a blood sample returned ad they tested for everything except for HIV as the midwife forgot to get me to sign something, there was a clear marking that it hadnt been tested for that.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 02-Apr-13 16:55:36

GP said if a private smear gave me abnormal result, I'd have to pay for treatment

I can believe that. I know someone who had a private MRI which showed she needed surgery. PCT refused to fund it as they said she was a private patient. Which according to her broke every rule/guideline in the book, she got her MP involved and everything as couldn't afford the 22k cost.

A charity ended up paying for her surgery in the end as PCT wouldn't budge.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 19:21:17

That's awful Viva. Just got back from GUM, they wouldn't give me a smear. They did insist on a full STD check though hmm. Not happy.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 20:11:28

99, this does sound utterly frustrating

im not a 100% sure if you do need a Welsh address, particularly if you are on the border, as I know patients who live in England but have a Welsh GP.

Tiggles Tue 02-Apr-13 20:46:48

No idea about needing a Welsh address to register with a welsh GP, but I am fairly certain that I read somewhere that if you start having private healthcare for an issue then you can't just decide to revert back to having NHS treatment.

Hatescolds Tue 02-Apr-13 20:55:42

Where I work ( GP) if you are under 25 the sample is discarded by the lab and never processed hence why most GPs will not offer this service- it is not that we do not paid for it.

If you have symptoms suggestive of a problem ( bleeding after sex/ pain/ etc) then you must be seen and examined and really unless is clear reason we refer colposcopy( gynae) who examine and can send smears if indicated.

Hatescolds Tue 02-Apr-13 20:58:45

Sorry I forgot to say that even if I were to send one stating a clinical indication for smear below 25 it would still be rejected because as stated above a smear is only a screening test ,if you have clinical symptoms without clear cause it is referral that is indicated not a smear test

MorganLeFey Tue 02-Apr-13 21:06:18

littleducks=*...your GP must be allowed to do one, for example of you had worrying symptoms?*

Littleducks - it's a screening test (so a test for picking up early changes in people who do not yet have symptoms) NOT a test for people having symptoms. If you had worrying symptoms & a GP just did a smear it could well come back clear & something have still been missed - most pathways for worrying symptoms will involve referral & tests like colposcopy.

Screening programmes are about population level risk/benefits/cost effectiveness not each individual or people who have symptoms...

macdoodle Tue 02-Apr-13 21:13:54

Unfortunately the NHS is not a bottomless pit that can provide for everyones "wants", it has to try and provide for the majority's "needs" (which it is currently unable to do).
I am sorry you are so anxious, and suspect this needs addressing far more than any smear needs doing.
GP's cannot do this as and when they want for any reason, including symptoms. Smears are not good for diagnosing "symptoms" and a different set of symptoms would be needed.
I am in Wales and smears not done according to the central database are just chucked out, so this is not something your/or another GP can decide on an individual basis.

macdoodle Tue 02-Apr-13 21:14:52

different set of TESTS

macdoodle Tue 02-Apr-13 21:15:42

Also for as long as I have been a doctor, you are not allowed to mix private and NHS, so if you decide to "go private" then you stay private.

dayshiftdoris Tue 02-Apr-13 22:01:27

They just return them untested 99

As MacDoodle says symptoms should be investigated in a much more robust manner than just taking a smear... a referral to gynae and then perhaps a colposcopy would be much better.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 23:22:39

Thanks for your replies.

Regarding my anxiety - I was very concerned a few years ago largely due to the 'Jade Goody effect'. Spoke to GP who reassured me that it was pretty much unheard of to get CC under 25. I now work with another 23 year old on a daily basis who has just gone off work to have an op in the hope it will save her life. I think my anxiety is understandable sad

I work in a college in Wales, and everyday see the posters everywhere reminding girls younger than me to go and get a smear. It's such a preventable disease, which is why I think it should be available.

Going on MacDoodle's post it seems the NHS are basing this decision largely on cost. Because as an earlier poster said if the worry was regarding unnecessary treatment surely women found to have abnormal cells could be closely monitored as opposed to treated if they are under 25. I find this whole situation very worrying.

macdoodle Tue 02-Apr-13 23:28:07

Did you read my link or any of the others posted? or did you just choose to ignore them?

pinkstinks Tue 02-Apr-13 23:33:19

Hi 99 I'm in the same position as you. I am 24 and have been having sypmtoms on and off for two years. I was sexually active at 14. Noone will give a smear test, one Dr's said they would after a consult and age, then I too half a day annual leave, turned up and they refused to do it. I have been to three gp's re my issues. Resigned myself to waiting a long time ago.

99problems Tue 02-Apr-13 23:52:12

macdoodle I read... that's why I said if the worry was regarding unnecessary treatment surely women found to have abnormal cells could be closely monitored as opposed to treated if they are under 25.

And why is it Wales, Scotland (although I hear this may soon change) still screen from 20? And most other European countries? If the evidence was so strong, surely 25 would be the standard?

pinkstinks if you click on link above it says you can get tested 6 months before your 25th birthday, this may help?

Peppermintcrumb Tue 02-Apr-13 23:52:49

Pinkstinks, if you are having symptoms then a smear test is of no use to you. Cervical screening is for women without symptoms.

As so many posts have said, screening women under 25 is not routinely done because of the amount of false positives caused by an immature cervix. Do you really want a smear test to come back with abnormal cells and have your cervix burned for no good reason?

Cervical cancer is extremely rare for every woman - less than 1% lifetime risk - let it go, you don't have cancer. Your friend probably has a few abnormal cells - this is NOT cancer - even if the cells are left, it doesn't mean that they WILL turn into cancer. Even if a women has CIN III cells it doesn't mean the cells will become cancer. Doctors don't know which cells will become cancer and which will clear up on their own - so all rogue cells get zapped.

macdoodle Tue 02-Apr-13 23:54:17

A smear test is not a good diagnostic test for abnormal symptoms such as abnormal bleeding, pain on intercourse, discharge etc. If you have symptoms such as this your GP will investigate you in more appropriate ways. Don't go in demanding a smear test, go and explain your symptoms. A smear is NOT appropriate in this case.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Apr-13 23:56:29

Thanks mac and pepper for your knowledge, freely given.

PagingDrFaggot Wed 03-Apr-13 00:01:20

You defiantly do not need to live in Wales to register with a GP surgery in Wales . I lived until last year on the south Wales borders and although I lived 100 yards into England my GP was in Wales .

99problems Wed 03-Apr-13 00:08:26

It seems I have no choice but to let it go. My friend is having a hysterectomy, she definitely has cervical cancer sad.

Peppermintcrumb Wed 03-Apr-13 00:13:18

I see know why you are so upset. I apologise for making assumptions about your friend. sad

Peppermintcrumb Wed 03-Apr-13 00:13:45


99problems Wed 03-Apr-13 00:19:20

Don't worry peppermint I'm greatly for all the advice on here I really am. I know there is a miniscule chance of me having anything like what my friend is going through but I'd rather have piece of mind. If I could go private for a reasonable price I would. I might look into health insurance and see if there are any options there.

littleducks Wed 03-Apr-13 10:11:19

Morgan- thanks for that, it makes sense that it should be done under the care of a gynaecologist

i also had my first smear when i became sa, i was 20 and have had them every 3 years since (im 31 now). i was living in england at the time... am now in wales but still continue to have them. 2001-2008 was in england

i personally dont understand the age thing and why they choose not to do them. i think as soon as you start having sex, you should get them

PrettyFlyForAWifi Wed 03-Apr-13 15:23:59

You should contact Jo's Trust - they have a helpline as well
You have all the facts and the rationale for not offering smear tests to under 25s in England, you know that the real risk to you is not great, but your anxiety is persisting beyond what you know to be fact. You need to ask yourself how much peace of mind a smear test would really give you - would it really reassure you or would your mind then go looking for the next health anxiety? If you think that this is a possibility then speak to your GP. So sorry to hear about your friend.

99problems Wed 03-Apr-13 23:20:07

Thank you PrettyFly.

Don't know if that link works but a doctor has basically summarised that even in the case of a false positive result, a colposcopy would filter out most false positives from true ones, along with the lack of evidence suggesting that women go on to have fertility issues after treatment.

Jan49 Thu 04-Apr-13 00:51:41

When I was either 25 or 26 (late 1980s) I had a smear test which showed slightly abnormal cells. I was told to come back in 6 months for another smear. The same happened after the second smear, just told to come back in 6 months. After the third smear, still showing a slight abnormality but not enough to be investigated further, I got very worried. I have a history of other cancers in my family. I was also being told to avoid getting pregnant even though nothing was being done other than waiting 6 months for another smear and at that point we'd been thinking of trying for a baby. I asked to be referred somewhere and I was referred to a hospital and given a colposcopy and then given the 'all clear'. Some years later I was told that these abnormalities would nowadays be seen as normal at that age, so the smears caused me and my partner a lot of unnecessary stress. I think the problem of 'normal abnormalities' showing up in smears of young women are the reason why they are no longer offered to under 25s.

is it worth mentioning that Jade Goody had problems for years before hand with abnormal bleeding? I know it's really scary worrying about these things, but it is really unusual to develop cc so young. I'm really sorry your friend is having a hysterectomy, I know what it's like, as I actually had one for cc in 2010. I had light bleeding in between my periods, and went for a full sexual health screen and smear. My sh results came back clear and my smear showed 'severe dyskariosis' which then was further investigated and dealt with accordingly.

PrettyFlyForAWifi Thu 04-Apr-13 08:33:14

99problems, I'm not sure why you are giving more credence to a Facebook group than you are to the national guidelines which are firmly evidence based.
Colposcopy is not akin to having a blood test, as this Facebook doctor contends. It is invasive, uncomfortable and carries risks of infection.
I'm not going to argue the toss with you, you have some excellent resources to look at but if you prefer Facebook conspiracy theorists then that's up to you. Otherwise, get saving for your private smear or consider private HPV vaccination.

sashh Thu 04-Apr-13 08:53:52

is it worth mentioning that Jade Goody had problems for years before hand with abnormal bleeding?

And an abnormal smear that she ignored for years.


How will you have 'peace of mind' if you get a

99problems Thu 04-Apr-13 10:29:22

I didn't include that link to argue, I get I was hoping for reassurance and one of the other posters with more knowledge than me could put the doctor's statement into perspective for me. Because it was contradicting some of the other info, guidelines etc. I'm not medically trained and I don't know anything about colposcopys, so thank you for making it clear that they are more invasive than a blood test.

colposcopies are not the nicest! Unless you've been told you need one, they are best avoided. Also op if you look at the statistics for cervical cancer survival rates, they are only improving! Doctors are getting things right, there's no conspiracy here. If you want to avoid the worry of cc, do all the things you should be doing, such as not smoking, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet including fresh fruit and veg. Also you can have full sexual health screening at NHS gum clinics anywhere in the uk, and discuss your worries with them. And practice safe sex. Hope that helps!

dayshiftdoris Fri 05-Apr-13 01:26:46


Ok so that doctor is saying what I said god knows how many posts back...

That some experts are saying screen but to watch and wait when abnormalities are detected... thats with colpscopy.

So you put thousands of healthy women through a costly and comfortable procedure in order to watch for her cervix to mature whilst older women with abnormal smears which can not be an immature cervical cell wait their turn?

There are only so many colposcopy suites and doctors trained to do them. It costs about £300 for just a colpscopy - times that by the thousands that would need it x the number of times across the years... Millions of pounds spent looking at what are healthy cervix 99% of the time (considering that the risk of cancer is generally less than 1% in that age group).

Thats without treatment because some doctors might treat and then in turn you have the link to premature labour (but you are right NOT necessarily to fertility issues), the costs of that to maternity services and neonatal care... not to mention the heartache.

It makes no sense to do it. The World Health Organisation dont believe women under 25 should be screened yet the Welsh NHS have decided to interpret evidence differently to the WHO - the international research hub for healthcare...

Jade Goody had had abnormal bleeding for a number of years and an abnormal smear she did not act on... her smear was done, I believe as part of investigations for the bleeding not routine screening. The lack of screening in that age group was nothing to do with it as her 'early changes' were picked up effectively by investigation of her symptoms...

The fact she developed cancer is actually irrelevant to cervical screening - why? Because ANY women with abnormal bleeding should have thorough investigations - a previously normal smear should never be a reassurance that you are ok... it's a snapshot of the cervix at that point in time NOT an insurance policy.

What anger ME is the lack of scrutiny - the Welsh NHS are spending against recommendation of the WHO and who is questioning them?

Jan49 Fri 05-Apr-13 03:02:26

OP, why don't you just get a smear done privately? I think someone here mentioned it's possible for around £80. The chances are it will come back showing you're fine and that will put your mind at rest. If it shows slight abnormalities and you are advised to have another smear in 6 months, you'll be in the same position you'd have been in if the NHS had agreed to do the first smear and you can pay for a second in 6 months. Worse possibility, a smear shows abnormalities that need immediate treatment and then you'd have a more difficult situation, but would your NHS doctor know if you'd had a smear done privately? Perhaps in those unlikely circumstances you could - ahem - find a way of getting some checks done through your GP by mentioning you had some symptoms rather than admitting you'd had a smear done privately? Nope, I didn't say that. wink

Alternatively, just accept that you are being a bit unreasonable. You might have work colleagues or friends of your age who have other medical issues and you could worry about all sorts of possible problems but it doesn't follow that you will have them. Your mum may have had the kind of 'normal' abnormalities that wouldn't be investigated nowadays.

saintmerryweather Fri 05-Apr-13 07:49:44

You doctor and whoever said you cant mix and match private and nhs care is talking bollocks link here

Welovegrapes Fri 05-Apr-13 08:05:12

Macdoodle I am really shocked you think NHS patients can't have private treatment as well. Doesn't the link posted by the pp show you are wrong?

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