More on smears

A recent post on this blog drew attention to the fact that the medical services are sometimes wholly unhelfpul in administering smear tests, failing to take seriously the experiences of women who find smears incredibly difficult or painful.

The Guardian today contains the following report from Clare Allan. She writes:

Smear tests are unpleasant, full stop. There can’t be many women who would disagree with that. But for those with mental health problems, learning disabilities and/or a history of sexual abuse, the procedure can be exceptionally traumatic

Apparently there’s  been a marked increase in women going for smear tests recently, since Jade Goody was diagnosed with and subsequently died of cervical cancer. It is incredibly important that this increased awareness is not doused by bad experiences or inadequate understanding. The author calls attention to the fact that whilst well meaning, it appears medical staff has insufficient awareness of the difficulties that face some women undergoing smear tests.

Attention can be drawn to this problem here.