...to request a smear test 2 x months early?(26 Posts)
I am having my Mirena coil removed this week and am due a smear test in January. I asked the GP if I could do both at once and I got a bit of a "computer says no" response. I have had a bit of a bad time with this surgery. They are very overstretched which I understand but they also have some systems in place to do with getting appointments which are, I think, deliberately patient unfriendly. The hcps are great but getting to speak to one takes a lot of work! I've never had such a difficult place to get to speak to a hcp and I have lived all over the uk.
DH and I are planning to start TTC when I've had my coil out. If I'm lucky enough to fall pregnant quickly I believe I will then have to wait till after I've had the baby to have a smear. I'm concerned, as I know a woman who developed cancer in pregnancy and is now at a stage where she sadly can no longer be treated. It makes me furious that I'm just trying to be responsible and the GP surgery is being obstructive.
TBH I would find somewhere to have a smear privately if they competent refuse to do it, so I'm lucky I have that option, but just wondered if this is usual and that I am being completely U? I am a bit of a space to hormones due to coil so perfectly likely I am being U!
And *slave to hormones (autocorrect strikes again)
I don't think you're being unreasonable but also it's likely they aren't either
I went for a smear a few months early as I was having stomach pains and have had regular abnormal smears which have resulted in removal of pre cancer cells etc so I was pretty worried
The nurse did the smear and said it was possible the lab would refuse to do it as it was early but she would tell them I was going travelling for a few months so would need the smear early, they tested it but my point is it seems it isn't actually down to the nurses whether they do it early or not and I guess it's down to the individual nurse whether they risk doing one that will be refused or not.
Perhaps you could just tell them you're going travelling seen as that seems to be an acceptable reason to have an early one.
Thanks. I haven't told them about the TTC yet as I spoke to the receptionist, who was just saying what she has been told to say to people requesting early smears.
I have asked for a nurse or the practice manager to phone me back. If they still refuse I'll find somewhere to have it done privately.
My friend was in a similar situation and had the smear done and then the lab refused to process it as she was not yet due one . Seems to be common practice now even for people who are having new coils etc or even those who have a few symptons that need checking .
That's awful littlenicky. What if they had missed something? I have so little confidence in the screening programs at the moment.
I've spoken to the nurse who says, as both of you did, that the lab might throw it away if done too early. I can pay for it to be processed apparently which is what I'm now doing.
I wonder if the are concerned the recent change in contraception will effect the test? I was due my smear in late pregnancy and told to wait until after DC was born (leaflet just tells you to discuss with midwife if pregnant so no actual guidance on leaflet of timescales. Midwife & HV both stated to wait until 6 weeks after he was born. Receptionist booked my 6 week checkup to be a double app't with smear afterwards. However Dr sent me on way cancelling smear saying guidance is 3 months after birth.
I appreciate the NHS is over-whelmed but wondering whether there is a reason behind asking you to wait. Maybe a helpful medical person will read this thread while you wait on a call-back
The computer will indeed be saying no.
The rules are that if you have a smear and it's not due then the lab just dispose of the sample. I think its to prevent using the screening programme inappropriately.
Crazy I know. I'm not sure who much leyway they offer if a few weeks early-as you say it's makes sense.
Nope you can't have your routine smear done early, the lab will not look at the sample. It's nothing to do with the GP surgery at all so don't have a go at them! If you have any symptoms that you are worried about though, that is totally different and they can do a smear to investigate those outside of the routine screening.
In most areas the lab won't test the sample unless you have received a letter inviting you for your smear. The letter the Cervical Screening Authority send you 'triggers' the authorisation for the smear. If you attend having not been invited, then the sample will just be destroyed without being processed.
You could postpone your coil removal until you've received that letter, but if you want to start trying to conceive I appreciate you may not want to do that.
I wonder if they are concerned the recent change in contraception will effect the test? It shouldn't make a difference. We are required to write on the smear form any hormonal contraception, whether the woman has a coil and if so whether Mirena or copper, last menstrual period. Certainly a HCP should do the smear BEFORE removing the coil as its removal can cause minor trauma to the cells of the cervix.
Forgot to say - the letters often go out about 4-6 weeks before the date your smear is due, so you might get one any day.
If you say you're having bleeding or have any concerns they will do one (mine does) the nurse is fabulous and they process it. I've had pre cancerous cells so if you have concerns ask the nurse not the doctor.
I may add it's not the regular one. So only if you've concerns
I have to have annual smear tests for my MS treatment but computer says no. Went private for the last one but refuse to do it again on principle. Trying to find wasps of working around it!
rosesandcashmere your nurse shouldn't be doing smears for symptoms like irregular bleeding or other concerns. They are a SCREENING tool and irregular bleeding, postcoital bleeding, pain, discharge, etc should be investigated and assessed by a gynaecologist. One should see the GP in the first instance where a pelvic examination, swabs etc may be done and then referral onwards if indicated. A gynaecologist may choose to do a cervical cytology screen amongst other things but in isolation is a completely inappropriate way of investigating irregular bleeding. Your nurse should be reported.
Have to correct Nastywoman- a smear is a screening test ONLY and should not be done if you have symptoms of cervical cancer such as bleeding after sex. If you have symptoms you need referring for colposcopy.
The labs will NOT do then early. There is a minimum screening interval and they stick to it.
Get your smear done in 2 months- the coil will make no difference. If you get pregnant straight away you can have your smear 12weeeks postnatally.
Thanks all. As per my last post my nurse is going to do the smear and I can then pay to make sure the lab actually process it, which is fine by me.
NastyWoman (nice name btw ), "...so don't have a go at them!"
What gave you the impression I would "have a go" at them over this issue?
As per my OP, the HCPs at this surgery are amazing once you actually get to speak to one. They all admit there are massive problems at the surgery and they are being looked at by the relevant authorities for basically being a bit shit (the surgery, not the HCPs). Improvements have been made, but the HCPs I've spoken to have admitted there are still problems. The receptionist I spoke to was being obstructive and unhelpful. Not her fault, she is obviously being told to not be too free and easy with the telephone callbacks from HCPs. The systems are designed imo to make it difficult to make contact with a HCP. I wouldn't "have a go" at anyone as I'm a fairly civilised person, even under the influence of hormones , but I will give my honest feedback to the surgery as anyone would be expected to.
Anyway, if the rules at the lab are the issue here, then that's fair enough. That's precisely why I asked on here; I have low confidence in this surgery, so I don't always know that what the receptionist is telling me is accurate. They have made mistakes before now.
I've now clarified (within the first few posts on here and then with the nurse) that it was accurate in this case. So thank you all for confirming. It's wise to double check ime with this surgery.
And this is where the system fails!!
I was on annual recalls due to previous removal and treatment for dangerous cells. I was experiencing the same symptoms and the system said no! Despite a gp and a consultant asking for it to be done, by the time the lab would do the samples (it was 5 months later) I was at the stage where I needed an operation and radiotherapy!!
I am hoping that the new health insurance policy through my husbands work will cover all my treatment in the future. (Unlikely I know)
Shame really the NHS used to be so good now it's a shower of shit. At least in my area. The gyne service in my area is shocking, and only set to get worse.
I'm very sorry to hear that goodgirl . It is indeed, fast becoming a shower of shit where I live too.
Goodgirl see my post
A smear is NOT for looking for cancer and checking out symptoms
It is for SCREENING asymptomatic women
If you had symptoms then you need to go to colposcopy and not have a smear
Sidge, she does them at the request of the GP, more of an investigative thing than a screen so perhaps I shouldn't call it a smear? I could say swab? Anyway it worked for me and we got to the bottom of the problem through the swab process. :-/
Ooh Sidge while you're here..
I'm overdue my smear. And my coil removal but the strings disappeared long ago (I had a uss to confirm it was OK) I'd like to get them done but I'm nervous, how the hell will they get it out?
Canary. Head torch. Elbow length rubber gloves?
roses there's a big difference between a swab and a smear.
Glad you got sorted.
MaryManchego we do have equipment that can be used to gently try and hook the strings down from inside the cervical os - a bit like a plastic crochet hook! But not sharp or painful. Also I have found that having a smear can 'bring down' missing strings; the brush we use gently sweeps around and just inside the cervix and can persuade them to put in a reappearance!
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