Around 31,000 women in London are being offered “do-it-at-home” tests to check for early warnings of cervical cancer, as part of an NHS trial.
Smear-test delays during the pandemic prompted calls for home-screening kits from cervical cancer charities.
The swabbing involves using a long, thin cotton bud to take a sample from inside the vagina, which is then sent by post for testing.
Embarrassment, cultural barriers and worries about Covid, along with many other factors, can stop women going for smear tests at a clinic or GP surgery.
If proved effective, It could be a way to encourage more women to get screened, experts hope.
Women aged 25-64, overdue for a check and living in Barnet, Camden, Islington, Newham or Tower Hamlets will be offered a kit from their GP or in the post.
Cancer Research UK said it was not yet known how effective and accurate self-sampling could be in cervical screening.
Cervical screening is a choice
It’s your choice if you want to go for cervical screening. But cervical screening is one of the best ways to protect you from cervical cancer. Finding and treating cancer early can save lives. For more information to help you decide, read the NHS cervical screening leaflet.