It is recommended that all women have regular cervical smears - even those who have never been sexually active can very rarely develop cervical cancer.
The national screening intervals:
All women between the ages of 50 to 71 yrs, are entitled to attend free screening for breast cancer every three years. (trial are going on to see if extending the range at both ends will be worthwhile). Though invitations stop at 71yrs, you may still book screening tests after if you wish.
Your first automatic invitation will take place any time between the ages of 50 and 53. Screening takes place at the North London Breast Screening Service, Edgware Community Hospital HA8 9BA (Tel: 0202 758 2024) or in a mobile unit at Northwick Park Hospital or Wembley Centre for Health & Care HA0 4UZ.
Screening is carried out by mammography (a low dose Xray). You will receive your results by letter within 2 weeks. If an abnormality is found, you will be contacted for an outpatient examination and further testing which may include another mammogram, ultrasound scan and / or a fine needle biopsy. 75% of women with an abnormality do not have breast cancer.
For full details about the Breast Cancer Screening click here.
Sexual health services comprise both sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment and contraception services. Our surgery provides the full range of contraceptive services.
Sexual Health services for Brent - including STI and HIV testing and care - are available locally:
We provide the full range of advice and contraception and can help you choose the best methods from a range including all the various combined pills, the progesterone only pill, the coil (IUD or intra-uterine device and IUS, the intrauterine system), implants, diaphragms, condoms and natural methods.
The nurses are able to provide all these except the IUCD / IUS and implants which will need a special appointment with a doctor. The female GPs can insert IUCDs and IUSs and Dr Dodhia is trained to perform implants. It is best to discuss this with a doctor in advance - please leave message with reception and you will be contacted to arrange. For all other contraception just make a normal appointment with the nurse.
All contraception is free of prescription charges under the NHS.
Here is a good guide to the various forms of contraception. Also the Family Planning Association is no longer a charity and was bought by a publisher but has some useful
If you find yourself accidentally pregnant and wish to consider a termination of pregnancy (TOP) free of charge under the NHS, you can self-refer to BPAS - British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Tel 0845 730 40 30), which has a clinic at Willesden Centre for Health & Care NW10 3RY and provides counselling and all forms of termination under the NHS.
You can also get information and refer yourself to Marie Stopes for private terminations (Tel 0333 253 1271).
You may also book to discuss with a GP as soon as possible.
Medical abortions (2 stage pills) are the safest method for most women up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, though it can be painful and unpleasant. From 10 weeks onwards surgical abortions are necessary.
All termination services offer post-abortion counselling and it is strongly recommended - even if you do not feel the need at the time - to book a session.
When you wish to start a family, it is a good idea to start preparing 3 - 6 months before if possible. This applies to men as well as women, so if you want advice, you may like to come and see one of our nurses or doctors together or check this Emma's Diary guidance (beware - adverts!)
You should both give up smoking of course and any other illicit drugs, ideally stop alcohol, reduce caffeine, get fit and eat a healthy diet and reduce stress. Avoid taking any over-the-counter medication including ‘natural remedies’ and supplements. Men should avoid hot baths and tight underpants and women need to start taking Folic Acid 0.4mg and maybe vitamin D and reduce weight if overweight.
Working out the most fertile time for sex is also helpful! There are lots of ovulation calculators and aids available which may help such as this from the NHS
Women should ensure they are immune to Rubella (German Measles). It is worth having a blood test even if you are sure you had the immunisation. It is a good idea to make sure you are up to date with your cervical smear.
It can takes up to 18 months to get pregnant but if it has been 12 months, or earlier if you are approaching 40yrs or have had previous gynaecological problems, then come and see your doctor.
Around 1 in 20 people get bowel cancer. The screening programme has been shown to pick up cancers at an earlier stage leading to more effective treatments.
Bowel Screening is a two stage process in the NHS: