Watch: Steph McGovern has smear test live on TV
The 38-year-old underwent the quick and simple screening of her cervix on her Channel 4 show Steph's Packed Lunch as part of a campaign to combat cervical cancer, with smear tests at an all time low during the coronavirus pandemic.
McGovern told viewers: "There are a lot women who struggle with going to their smear test because they think it's going to be awful and embarrassing, so we decided to show you what actually happens.
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"I've had my smear tests a number of times and they can be different each time. Sometimes you don't feel anything.
Smear test rates are at an all-time low, especially since covid, with many women saying that they can be embarrassing or painful.
In an attempt to get more uptake for them, @StephLunch wanted to shed light on the process – by having her #SmearTest live on TV. @JoTrust pic.twitter.com/obrwXuiLDV
— Steph's Packed Lunch (@PackedLunchC4) April 26, 2021
"Now it feels pretty okay but sometimes they can hurt, or people worry it's going to hurt. But it's not for long, even if there is a little bit of pain."
"It's not the most comfortable experience in the world. This isn't hurting, it just feels weird."
Before the test McGovern interviewed Chris Hopkins, who lost his partner Marie to cervical cancer.
He and nine-year-old son Lewis have since set up The Smear Campaign, urging women to get regular smear tests.
Hopkins said: "I wanted to do something positive so another child doesn't have to go through this. Marie did go for smears, the diagnosis took a bit too long.
"After Marie's passing, I started looking into figures around it and I read one in three, one in four women are not going for the smear test."
McGovern was shown lying on a bed with a blanket over her legs to preserve her modesty, as the procedure requires being naked from the waist down with your legs open while a doctor or nurse takes a swab of cells taken from the cervix.
These are tested for human papillomavirus (HPV) which, if found early, can be treated before it develops into cervical cancer.
The former BBC news anchor's test was carried out by Dr Naomi Sutton from Channel 4 show The Sex Clinic.
She said: "There'll be lots of reasons women don't go but all these things can be tackled - embarrassment about their bodies, nervousness about pain, a skin problem, you might be menopausal and it's dry and sore, but all these things we can sort out with a bit of dialogue and communication."
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