Symptoms of cervical cancer

Very early-stage cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms. It is usually found and treated because of cervical screening tests.

Common symptoms of cervical cancer can include:

  • heavier periods than you normally have
  • vaginal bleeding between periods
  • vaginal bleeding after sex
  • vaginal bleeding after the menopause (after you have stopped having periods).

Other symptoms include:

  • a smelly vaginal discharge
  • urine infections that keep coming back
  • pain in the lower tummy or back.

Very early-stage cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms. It is usually found and treated because of cervical screening tests (smear test).

Cervical cancer develops very slowly from abnormal cell changes in the cervix. These changes do not cause any symptoms, but they may be found with cervical screening tests. If the tests show abnormal cell changes, treatment can prevent cancer developing.

If you get symptoms between your regular cervical screening appointments, do not wait for your next appointment. Talk to your GP or practice nurse and get checked out. These symptoms can be embarrassing, but your GP or practice nurse will understand.

We understand that showing any symptoms of what could be cancer is worrying. The most important thing is to speak to your GP as soon as possible. We're also here if you need someone to talk to. You can:

  • Call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.
  • Chat to our specialists online