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Transgender/ non - binary cervical screening

Want to learn about cervical screening?



What is cervical screening?


Cervical screening, also known as a Pap test or smear test, is a procedure where cells from the cervix are collected and examined to detect any abnormalities or changes that could indicate cervical cancer or other issues. It is an essential preventive healthcare measure for individuals with a cervix to ensure early detection and proper treatment if needed. Regular screenings are key to maintaining good health.


You should start getting cervical screenings according to the recommended guidelines, which typically suggest starting around the age of 25 and from then you will get an invite every 3 to 5 years.


Cervical screenings help prevent cancer by detecting abnormalities or changes early on, allowing for timely intervention and treatment. Regular screenings are crucial for maintaining good health and catching potential issues before they become more serious.



Do trans women need cervical screening?


No, because trans females do not possess a cervix, with or without surgery, they have no risk of developing cervical cancer and no need for screening for this condition. Cervical screenings test for the presence of HPV and precancerous cells. Everyone with a cervix must attend regular screenings for their health.



Does anyone with a cervix including transgender men need to have an annual Pap test?


Transgender men with a cervix should follow the same guidelines as cisgender women for cervical screening. It is recommended to have screenings every 3 to 5 years, depending on age. Regular screenings are crucial for early detection and maintaining good health.


It is open to all women and people with cervixes aged 25 to 64 in the UK, every three to five years.


 

If you’re a trans man or a non-binary person and you have a cervix, it’s important to still attend cervical screenings.

 

Patients registered as "male" on GP systems will not currently be invited for cervical screening


• If you have a cervix, then you are eligible for screening


• Contact your GP practice or sexual health clinic to discuss further



Telling GP surgery staff you are trans and/or non-binary


If you are registered as a male at a GP surgery and they are not aware that you have a cervix, the person you speak with might be confused when you request to book a cervical screening appointment. Similarly, if you are a non-masculine non-binary person, you may be misgendered and treated as a woman.


You have the right to privacy and do not have to disclose that you are trans and/or non-binary to anyone. However, if you feel comfortable, letting someone at your GP surgery know may help them support you better as an individual and avoid distressing situations. You could:


- Identify a member of staff whom you feel comfortable with, whether it's reception staff or clinical staff like a doctor or nurse. It might be easier to tell them privately, and they may already have an innate understanding of who you are and how best to support you.


- Ask a trusted person to speak to your GP surgery on your behalf. You may need to provide verbal or written permission for this.


- Write it down, either in an email before your appointment or to hand over at the surgery. This may feel easier than speaking it out loud. You could also include any important information, such as your pronouns or language you would prefer the reception staff or your nurse to avoid.



During your appointment...

Here is an example of a smear test and how quick and simple it is, this is done by GP Dr Gill Tonge.





Getting results after the appointment


Your biopsy will be sent to a laboratory. It can take up to 4 weeks to get the results of these tests. Your nurse will tell you how you will receive your results. This will either be in a letter sent to you through the post or discussed with you during your next outpatient appointment. You may want to check the address the results are being sent, as well as the name being used on the letter. If you want to make any changes, you can let the GP surgery know. 


If you have not heard from your GP surgery within 4 weeks, you may want to contact them to ask when you can expect your results. 


It's okay to feel anxious while waiting for cervical screening results, you are not alone if you feel that way it's common for people to feel that type of way about their test results. It may help to remember that most people have clear results and will not need another appointment for 3 or 5 years. 


 
"Not everyone with a cervix is a woman"

 


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