Women's Health

Cervical Screening - Smears


What is cervical screening? 


Cervical screening (aka a smear test) is a health check that checks the health of your cervix (the cervix is the opening to the womb from your vagina). It is not a test for cancer, but we do these tests to help prevent cancer. 

All women and people with a cervix aged from 25 to 64 should have regular smear tests. From the age of 25 to 49, women should have a smear test every 3 years, and those aged 50 to 64 should be tested every 5 years. 


Cervical screening is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer. Cervical screening checks a sample of cells from your cervix for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the name for a very common group of viruses. Most people will get some form of HPV during their lives. Some HPV can cause cervical cancer; these are called "high-risk" HPV. 


If you have a cervix and have had any kind of sexual contact with a man or a woman, you are at risk of HPV and cervical cancer.


For more information on cervical screening, click here.


How to book

When you are due to have a smear test, you will receive an invitation via post. When you receive this, you will need to book an appointment. If you do not respond to the letter, our admin team will send out a text invitation with a link for you to book an appointment online at a time that best suits you. You can also book your smear test by calling 01952 586691 or by coming in to the practice. You can also book via patient access when the appointments are available. 


Contraceptive Pill 


The birth control pill is a type of contraception that contains hormones that prevent pregnancy. People call it "the pill" because it comes in pill form. Women take the pill orally (by mouth) once a day. The pill is most effective when you take it consistently at the same time each day. 

The pill has the potential to be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy if you take it without fail, meaning you don't forget to take it for even a day or two. For more information on the contraceptive pill, click here.


The contraceptive injection


The contraceptive injection releases the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. Depending on which injection you have, it can last from 8 to 13 weeks. This means you don't have to think about contraception every day. However, you do have to remember to have a repeat injection before it expires. If used correctly, the contraceptive injection is more than 99% effective. For more information on the contraceptive injection, Click here


Intrauterine Device (IUD)


An IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic and copper device that's put into your womb (uterus) by a doctor or nurse. It releases copper to stop you from getting pregnant and protects against pregnancy for between 5 and 10 years. It is often referred to as the "coil" or "copper coil." When inserted correctly, IUDs are more than 99% effective. For more information on the intrauterine device, click here.


Contraceptive Implant


The contraceptive implant (Nexplanon) is a small, flexible plastic rod that's placed under the skin in your upper arm by a doctor or nurse. It releases the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream to prevent pregnancy and lasts for 3 years. often referred to as the "implant." It is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Once it is in place, you do not have to think about it for three years. For more information on the contraceptive implant, click here.


How to book


Before you can start any form of contraception, you must have an initial consultation to discuss your options with either a doctor or nurse.


Our advanced practitioner can initiate both the contraceptive pill and the contraceptive injection. These can be followed up by our practice nurses and nurse associates; you will need to book these appointments yourself when you are due for a follow-up. 


For the intrauterine device and the contraceptive implant, an initial consultation will need to be booked with a doctor. For both of these options, after the initial consultation, you will be added to our waiting list for an appointment for minor surgery. You will not need to contact us for this appointment, as a link will be sent to you via text for you to book when appointments become available. 


To book your initial consultation, please call the practice at 01952 586691 or visit us in person at the practice. 

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

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


The main benefits of HRT are that it can help relieve most of the menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and reduced sex drive. Many of these symptoms pass after a few years, but they can be unpleasant, and taking HRT can offer relief for many women. For more information on hormone replacement therapy, click here.


How to book

If you have started experiencing menopausal symptoms and are interested in starting hormone replacement therapy, call us at 01952 586691 or pop in to the practice to arrange an appointment with one of our GPs. 


It is good to keep track of your menopausal symptoms, you can use the symptom questionnaire below to keep regular track of this. 


Menopause Symptoms Questionnaire

Vaginal Pessaries

Vaginal pessaries are devices made of lubber (latex) or silicone that are inserted into the vagina and left in place to support the vaginal walls and pelvic organs. Vaginal pessaries allow you to get pregnant in the future. They can be used to ease the symptoms of moderate or severe prolapses and are a good option if you cannot or would prefer not to have surgery. 

Vaginal pessaries come in different shapes and sizes, depending on your needs. The most common is called a ring pessary. For more information on vaginal pessaries click here.


How to book

Depending on the severity of your symptoms of prolapse, the course of treatment will vary. Here at Woodside, we can offer advice on lifestyle changes and pelvic floor exercises, or if necessary, we can provide a ring pessary. This can be booked with our nurses and nursing associates. Please note: a ring pessary MUST be changed every 6 months. If you wish to speak to one of our nurses or nursing associates, please call or come in to the practice to arrange an appointment. From there, the nurses will be able to guide you on the best course of action. 

Vaginal Swabs

Vaginal swabs are usually taken from the inside of your vagina and cervix. These are sent to a laboratory to look for signs of a bacterial infection and identify the bacteria responsible. 


How to book

These can be booked in with our practice nurses; they can be booked via phone or in person at the practice.