Do you know the symptoms of cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms or the symptoms may not be obvious. We hear from the team at Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust to highlight the most common symptoms of cervical cancer. It is important to remember that these symptoms usually happen for reasons other than cervical cancer. But it is also important to contact your GP straight away, so they can give you reassurance and support.
Vaginal bleeding that is unusual for you
If you have regular periods, unusual vaginal bleeding happens any time outside of your regular period. It may happen:
- Between periods
- During or after sex
- After the menopause
Whatever type of unusual vaginal bleeding you have, it is important to contact your GP. They can examine you and make sure everything is okay.
Changes to vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge is a fluid (mucus) that cleans and protects the vagina. Most women have it, but it is good to be aware of any changes. Those changes may be:
- Looking different – for example, becoming thicker or change in colour
- Smelling different – particularly if it smells unpleasant
Vagina discharge can change for lots of reasons that aren’t related to cervical cancer, such as an infection or changing hormones.
Pain or discomfort during sex
You may find sex painful or uncomfortable. This is sometimes called dyspareunia.
Sex may be painful for lots of reasons, both physical and psychological, that aren’t related to cervical cancer. There are things that may help, such as using more lubrication or seeing a counsellor that specialises in sex therapy. But to reassure you and so sex can become more comfortable, it is important to contact your GP and tell them about the pain.
Unexplained pain in your lower back or between your hipbones
Sometimes we feel pain in our lower back or between our hipbones (pelvis) for a reason, like pulling a muscle or having a period. But it is a good idea to tell your GP about this pain if:
- There is no obvious reason for it
- It is affecting your day to day life
- It lasts for 2 to 3 weeks or longer
What to do if you have symptoms of cervical cancer?
All of the symptoms often happen for a reason other than cervical cancer. But if you have any of these symptoms or are worried about anything else, it is best to contact your GP as soon as possible.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust are also there to offer support if you are worried about anything.
To find out more and for support please visit the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website here.