Steph McGovern has smear test live on air to show it's not 'awful' and just 'feels weird' but can save your life

STEPH McGovern had a smear test live on air to show how easy a life-saving cervical screening examination can be.

The TV host had the test done on her Channel 4 show, Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4, after speaking to a man who lost his partner to cervical cancer.

Chris Hopkins launched The Smear Campaign after his partner and mother to his nine-year-old son lost her life.

He wants more people with cervixes to get regular smear tests and Steph decided to show people how quick and easy it can be.

Lying on a medical table, Steph chatted to Dr Naomi Sutton who performed the test and suggested ways to help relax during the often uncomfortable and nerve-wracking procedure.

“There’ll be lots of reasons women don’t go but all these things can be tackled," she explained.

"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.”

As her smear test was being performed, Steph said: “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."

“I’ve had my smear tests a number of times and they can be different each time. Sometimes you don’t feel anything. Now it feels pretty ok 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.”

Steph added: “It’s not the most comfortable experience in the world. This isn’t hurting, it just feels weird.”

After the test was completed, Steph sat up to continue chatting to Dr Naomi.

“That took 30 seconds or something, it can sometimes take slightly longer, getting into the position because it is hard to stay relaxed," Steph said.

"This is embarrassing and it is sometimes uncomfortable and for some women it can be painful but it can save their life.”

Dr Naomi added: “The point of the screening test is that it’s picking up changes before they turn into cancer. We can treat the changes before it ends up being something we struggle to treat.”

Data from the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust shows of the roughly five million women who are invited for cervical screenings every year, one in four women don’t attend.

“Cervical screening isn’t always an easy test, and the pandemic has added additional challenges," said Rebecca Shoosmith, Acting Chief Executive, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

"We’re so pleased that Steph is showing what having a test is like live on TV, helping to break down taboos and encouraging much-needed conversations."

Steph McGovern is a British TV presenter from Middlesbrough, known mostly for her work on BBC Breakfast – where she was the main business presenter.

She is a former Irish dancing champion and still attends international competitions, where she helps to coach other dancers.

On November 8, 2019 Steph revealed she had given birth to a baby girl.

She is the star's first child with her television executive girlfriend.

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