"Having a screen test saved my life"

Publish Date: 18/09/2012

 

‘Are You Ready For Your Screen Test?’ is The Lesbian & Gay Foundation’s national campaign which aims to dispel the myths around lesbian and bisexual women and cervical screening, and raise awareness that lesbian and bisexual women do need regular cervical screening tests.

Below, Donna and Sarah speak to us about their experiences.

“There is work to be done to combat ignorance among medical staff” Donna, 31

“At my last cervical screening I told the nurse that I was sexual active, I did not use protection and that I was not on the contraceptive pill – but not planning to get pregnant. Before I had chance to explain that I was in a long term relationship with another women, she began to lecture me about the risk of STI’s /pregnancy and how irresponsible I was!

When I eventually told her, the consultation was awkward, she was not sure if I still needed to have a cervical screen  - even though she had not asked about my sexual history with men!  I asked her if she had information about STI risks for lesbian women, she stated that there was no risk! I’ve since changed GP practice and my new practice nurse is great.”

“Having a screen test saved my life!” Sarah, 40

“I have always attended cervical screenings and my sexual orientation has not been raised or wasn’t an issue when it was. I continue to have the screens when needed - they saved my life when younger.   I had CIN 4 (pre-cancerous tissue) and had surgery to prevent full blown cancer. My girlfriend and I both had tests here before going on a round-the-world travelling trip for a few years ago. We both had the test because we thought we should even as lesbians, I had always believed that cancer is not sexually transmitted anyway.  Also both of us had tried sex with men when younger.”

For more information visit www.lgf.org.uk/screening