Chrissy Teigen is known for bringing the lols on social media, but she doesn't always just use her platforms for fun and games. In her latest Instagram post, the model and author has raised awareness for how important it is for women and people with cervixes to attend smear tests regularly, if you're lucky enough to have access to them (which we are in the UK).
In the intimate photo, Chrissy can be seen wearing little else aside from a mask and a paper sheet. It's generally not necessary to remove all your clothes for a cervical screening (also known as a pap test in the US, but more commonly called a smear test in the UK), but it seems she was having a boob examination at the same time - two birds, one stone and all that.
"Don’t forget to keep up with your paps and have your boobs touched even though the world is ending!!" Chrissy wrote, referencing the small matter of the coronavirus pandemic. During the COVID-19 crisis, non-emergency medical examinations were cancelled or reduced in frequency to minimise risk of virus spread, but while generally things are back up and running now, the number of women choosing to attend their screening is still low.
Research from Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust found that, in the UK, around one in eight women (12%) said they would feel less likely to attend than before the COVID-19 pandemic, and 13% think it is best to put off going for cervical screening at the moment. Considering that smear test attendance levels were at their lowest in decades prior to coronavirus, it's worrying that the figures may have dropped even more.
Smear tests are a quick check of the health of the cervix using a tool called a speculum, and are designed to prevent cancer. In the UK, all women and people with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 64 are invited by letter. And while, sure, a cervical screening invite wasn't exactly a diary highlight pre-pandemic, it's still incredibly important that people attend the screenings. Five million women are invited for cervical screenings each year in the UK, but only around 3.5 million or so take up their invite.
Chrissy added in a later comment on her Instagram post: "Doctors can’t find an irregular or odd pap unless you get them regularly enough to show them a difference in paps!! Please get it done if you have the luxury to (this f**king country)."
And she's got a point; if we're lucky enough to have this vital healthcare procedure at our disposal, it's best to go if you can. So if you've had a letter lying around for some weeks but had been putting it off - go on, bite the bullet and book it in.
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