No age restrictions for cervical cancer screenings

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2014 National Women's Conference
18 October 2013

No Age Restrictions for Cervical Cancer Screening

10 years ago the age for Cervical Cancer screening rose from 20 to 25 in England followed by Northern Ireland in 2011, Wales in 2013 and Scotland due to rise in 2014.

Cervical Cancer screening is available for all women aged between 25 & 65. Government guidelines state there is no benefit to offer it to younger girls as greater abnormalities are common in those under 25, leading to unnecessary treatment, which in turn could lead to giving birth pre-term.

Unfortunately Cervical Cancer can happen to a woman at any age after becoming sexually active. Women are becoming sexually active at a much younger age, so screening should start within 2 years of becoming active.

Screening stops at 65 as it is by this age that it is believed that most women in a relationship have settled with one long term partner. Statistics show that more women than ever before are getting divorced in their 60’s and are enjoying renewed sexual activity thus requiring them to continue having access to Cervical Screening.

We call upon the National Women’s committee to:

• Campaign to have the age restrictions lifted on cervical screening and to make screening available to all women.

• Continue to highlight the importance of cervical screening.

• Provide guidance on the symptoms and effects of Cervical Cancer.

• Liaise with relevant organisations and work together to campaign for better screening for all women.