The symptoms of cervical cancer aren't always obvious, and it may not cause any symptoms at all until it's reached an advanced stage.
This is why it's very important that you attend all of your Smear test appointments.
In most cases, vaginal bleeding is the first noticeable symptom of cervical cancer. It usually occurs after having sex.
Bleeding at any other time, other than your expected monthly period , is also considered unusual. This includes bleeding after the menopause (when a woman's monthly periods stop).
Visit your GP for advice if you experience any type of unusual vaginal bleeding.
Other symptoms of cervical cancer may include pain and discomfort during sex and an unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge .
If the cancer spreads out of your cervix and into surrounding tissue and organs, it can trigger a range of other symptoms, including:
You should contact your GP if you experience:
Vaginal bleeding is very common and can have a wide range of causes, so it doesn't necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. However, unusual vaginal bleeding is a symptom that needs to be investigated by your GP.
Cancer of the cervix often has no symptoms in its early stages. If you do have symptoms, the most common is unusual vaginal bleeding, which can occur after sex, in between periods or after the menopause.
Read more about the symptoms of cervical cancer including unusual vaginal bleeding, pain or discomfort during sex and an unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge.
In almost all cases, cervical cancer is the result of a change in cell DNA caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).
Early diagnosis of cervical cancer is crucial. Read about the tests you'll have to discover whether you have cancer and the tests used to find out whether your cancer has spread.
Treatment for cervical cancer depends on how far the cancer has spread. As cancer treatments are often complex, hospitals use multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) to treat cervical cancer and tailor the treatment programme to the individual.
Read about the complications of cervical cancer, includingpossible side effects of treatment, such as early menopause, narrowing of the vagina and lymphoedema.