Women's Health

Cervical Cancer Screening

Our fantastic and highly experienced Nurses do most of the smears for routine screening and follow up. We work with the Dorset Screening Service and offer 3-5 yearly appointments as appropriate. We recommend cervical smears for all women (who have ever been sexually active) from the age of 25 years (you may be sent a letter up to six months before your 25th birthday).

You should get a letter from the central NHS screening team advising you that your test is due; you will then also get an invitation from the practice via SMS text message which should enable you to book the appointment directly via a unique URL. If there are no online slots available please call reception to book your appointment over the phone.

The "smear" has actually changed over the past few years and is primarily testing for high risk HPV (Human Papillomavirus) which is the virus which is responsible for almost all cervical cancers.

If you have symptoms which might suggest cervical cancer (such as bleeding after intercourse) then you must make an appointment with a clinician, don't wait for your next screening test.

Jo's Trust: If you have questions about HPV, cervical screening, cell changes or cervical cancer, they have information you can trust.



All menstruating women will experience the menopause at some point - the average age in the UK is 51. We can help you with managing your symptoms but it is important to remember that there is much more to the menopause than HRT - although this can be incredibly helpful for lots of women. Many lifestyle measures such as stopping smoking and improving your general health with diet and exercise can also make a significant difference to menopause symptoms.

One of the best places to start with understanding the menopause is Menopause Matters - an award winning website which covers a whole range of subjects from education about what it is to practical advice about what you can do, including a lot of information about the risks and benefits of HRT.

It is important to remember that the risks of HRT are usually relatively low at the typical age of entering the menopause but they rise steadily as you get older and have been taking it for longer. If you have been taking HRT for more than 5 years you should expect to have a discussion about the risks and benefits of continuing on at least an annual basis.

If you would like to discuss your symptoms further, please make an appointment. It is really helpful if you have read the information on e.g. Menopause Matters before you speak to a doctor as this is likely to make your appointment far more productive.

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer screening is offered to women aged 50 until their 71st birthday - your first invitation will be between the age of 50 and 53. You may be eligible earlier if there is a particular reason why you are at high risk of breast cancer. Over 71, you will no longer be invited automatically but can still request breast screening if you wish.

If you notice any of the following, please book an appointment so you can be checked.

  • a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • discharge of fluid from either of your nipples 
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • a rash on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

Coppa Feel! has lots of resources for education and support regarding breast cancer. Their goal is to give everyone the best possible chance of surviving breast cancer. 

The NHS website has lots of up-to-date information about breast cancer and specifically about breast cancer screening