Steph McGovern reacts to messages about her live smear test on Channel 4’s Packed Lunch

Steph McGovern has a smear test on Steph's Packed Lunch

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Steph McGovern underwent a smear test on live television, to raise awareness of the importance of screening for cervical cancer and break the stigma associated with the procedure. It follows news that the uptake of smear tests in the UK is at an all-time low following the coronavirus outbreak.

Many women put off getting tested as they find the internal examination embarrassing or painful.

Steph took to Twitter following her Channel 4 show to thank viewers for their kind messages, after getting tested in front of the nation.

She shared a tweet from the official Packed Lunch account, with a clip of the segment.

“Thanks for messages about the smear test I had on the show today,” she wrote online in view of her 412,400 followers.

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“All credit should go to Chris + son Lewis who set up @thesmearcamp after Lewis lost his mum Marie to cervical cancer.

“Hearing their story was heartbreaking #thesmearcampaign.

“Thanks to @DrNaomiSutton @JoTrust too,” she continued.

The original tweet read: “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.”

The clip from the Channel 4 show saw Steph talking to doctor Naomi as she had her smear test.

The mum-of-one said she’d had many tests over the years and pointed out that sometimes they were more uncomfortable than at other times.

“Now, it’s not the most comfortable experience in the world. But as things stand, this isn’t hurting, it just feels weird.”

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During the procedure, cells are collected from the wall of the cervix, which will be tested for the human papilloma virus.

A negative result means patients return in three years time for their next routine check.

However, a positive test will lead to further investigation and possibly an annual smear test.

Many took to the comments section of Steph’s post to share their thoughts and thank the 38-year-old presenter for her bravery.

“Fab thing to do Steph!! That really is immersive journalism!! And us nurses really don’t give a thought about what our patients ‘fannys’ look like!!” one follower wrote.

“Good on you Steph! Breaking the taboo around all female health is soooo important esp for girls,”(sic) another added.

A third remarked: “Well done Steph. To have a smear behind closed doors can be difficult but to do it on TV …you are amazing! I have never had a problem thankfully so ladies book your smears.”

“Wow. What an amazing thing to do @StephLunch. I hope this will encourage women to take up their appointment,” a fourth added in agreement.

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