Barton House

Search
Close this search box.

Women’s Health/Screening

The health of a woman depends on several factors. To be healthy, women must develop healthy habits like stress management, regular exercises and including healthy foods in their diet. We also suggest scheduling routine health screening tests so that they can detect potential health complications early on. In fact, there are few essential screenings for women that can help them keep a check on their health issues. The earlier you diagnose the health issues, the easier it is to treat the condition before it turns fatal.

Cervical Screening


All women and people with a cervix should be invited by letter if aged 25 to 64.  If you have been invited or if it has been more than 3 to 5 years since your last screening

Women aged between 25 and 64 should have a cervical screening to help prevent cervical cancer. The screening is quick, painless and can be done here in the practice.

  • If you are between the ages of 25 – 49, you should have one every 3 years.   
  • If you are between the ages of 50 – 64, you should have one every 5 years. 
  • If you are aged over 25 and have never had a smear test, or if it has been more than 3 to 5 years since your last screening, you should arrange an appointment with our Practice Nurse.

You should not have the test while you are having a period, or in the 4 days before or after your period as this can affect the sample.

What is cervical screening?

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in the cervix (the neck of the womb).

A sample of cells is taken from the cervix for analysis. A doctor or nurse inserts an instrument (a speculum) to open the woman’s vagina and uses a spatula to sweep around the cervix. Most women consider the procedure to be only mildly uncomfortable.

Early detection and treatment can prevent 75 per cent of cancers developing but like other screening tests, it is not perfect. It may not always detect early cell changes that could lead to cancer.

Who is eligible for cervical screening?

All women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical screening test every three to five years (Depending on age).
The NHS call and recall system invites women who are registered with a GP. It also keeps track of any follow-up investigations, and, if all is well, recalls the woman for screening in three or five years time. It is therefore important that all women ensure their GP has their correct name and address details, and informs the practice of any changes. 

Women who have not had a recent test may be offered one when they attend their GP or family planning clinic on another matter. Women should receive their first invitation for routine screening at 25.

Why are women under 25 not invited?

This is because changes in the young cervix are normal. If they were thought to be abnormal this could lead to unnecessary treatment which could have consequences for women’s childbearing. Any abnormal changes can be easily picked up and treated from the age of 25. Rarely, younger women experience symptoms such as unexpected bleeding or bleeding after intercourse. In this case they should see their GP for advice.

Why are women over 65 not invited?

Women aged 65 and over who have had three consecutive negative results are taken out of the call recall system. The natural history and progression of cervical cancer means it is highly unlikely that such women will go on to develop the disease. Women aged 65 and over who have never had a test are entitled to one.

What about women who are not sexually active?

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme invites all women between the ages of 25 and 64 for cervical screening. But if a woman has never been sexually active with a man, then the research evidence shows that her chance of developing cervical cancer is very low indeed. We do not say no risk, only very low risk. In these circumstances, a woman might choose to decline the invitation for cervical screening on this occasion.

Breast Screening

All women who have reached the age of 50 are offered a breast screening service every three years until the age of 65.  You will have a simple screening x-ray called a mammogram. 

Please make an immediate appointment to see your GP is you discover any breast lump.

When you’ll be invited for breast screening and who should go

Anyone registered with a GP as female will be invited for NHS breast screening every 3 years between the ages of 50 and 71. You’ll get a letter in the post inviting you.

When you’ll be invited

You’ll automatically get your first invite for breast screening between the ages of 50 and 53. Then you’ll be invited every 3 years until you turn 71.

If you’re a trans man, trans woman or are non-binary you may be invited automatically, or you may need to talk to your GP surgery or call the local breast screening service to ask for an appointment.

If you have not been sent a letter

If you have not been invited for breast screening by the time you are 53 and think you should have been, contact your local breast screening service.

Find breast screening services

If you are 71 or over

You will not automatically be invited for breast screening if you are 71 or over.

But you can still have breast screening every 3 years if you want to. You will need to call your local breast screening service to ask for an appointment.

If you’re trans or non-binary

If you’re a trans man, trans woman or are non-binary how you are invited will depend on the sex you are registered with at a GP:

  • if you’re registered as female with a GP you will automatically be invited for breast screening
  • if you’re registered as male with a GP you will not automatically be invited for breast screening

What do I do if I am assigned FEMALE at birth

If you’ve not had top surgery (surgery to remove the breasts and have male chest reconstruction), you can have breast screening.

If you’ve had top surgery, you may still have some breast tissue. But it’s unlikely you will be able to have a mammogram. Talk to a GP if you notice any changes in your chest tissue or symptoms of breast cancer.

If you think you should have breast screening, but you are not invited automatically, talk to your GP surgery or call the local breast screening service to ask for an appointment.

Find breast screening services

What do I do if I am assigned MALE at birth

If you’ve been taking feminising hormones for longer than 2 years, you can have breast screening. These hormones can increase your chance of getting breast cancer.

If you think you should have breast screening, but you are not invited automatically, talk to your GP surgery or call the local breast screening service to ask for an appointment.

Find breast screening services

If you have symptoms

See a GP if you have any symptom of breast cancer. Even if you have recently had a clear breast screening.

Do not wait for your next breast screening appointment.

More information: Breast screening (mammogram)

If you have symptoms

See a GP if you have any symptom of breast cancer. Even if you have recently had a clear breast screening.

Do not wait for your next breast screening appointment.

More information: Breast screening (mammogram)

HRT

What is Menopause?

The menopause is when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.

Periods usually start to become less frequent over a few months or years before they stop permanently.

The menopause is a natural and usually occurs between ages of 45 and 55; in the UK the average age is 51.

Menopause: The Change is Here (#WorldMenopauseDay Premiere) – YouTube

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

HRT is a treatment to relieve symptoms of the menopause. It replaces hormones that are at a lower level as you approach the menopause.

HRT, like any other medication, has risks as well as benefits.

HRT can increase the risk of breast, ovarian and womb cancer, but the increased risk is small for most women, unless you have specific personal risks (eg past medical history or a family history). For some, the benefits of taking HRT may outweigh the risks.

You can find out more specific information, including data, about risks here.

Benefits:

HRT can help relieve most of the menopausal symptoms, such as:

  • hot flushes
  • night sweats
  • mood swings
  • vaginal dryness
  • reduced sex drive
  • osteoporosis

HRT may not be suitable if you:

  • have a history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer or womb cancer
  • have a history of blood clots
  • have untreated high blood pressure – your blood pressure will need to be controlled before you can start HRT
  • have liver disease

There are alternatives to HRT – take a look here for more information.

Tests to check for menopause

Menopause (or peri-menopause) is a clinical diagnosis, and there isn’t a blood test that can specifically confirm it.

If you have symptoms, we may arrange a blood test to check for other causes eg thyroid.

If you have symptms of menopause under the age of 45, we may arange a blood test to check your hormone levels.

Type of HRT

There are two types of HRT: oestrogen-only, and combined (oestrogen & progesterone).

Oestrogen-only HRT is only recommended if you have had your womb removed during a hysterectomy, or have the Mirena coil.

HRT comes in tablets, patches, and gels.