Pregnancy & Cervical Screening: Birthplace Impact

May, 05, 2024 | Cervical Cancer, Gynecologic Cancer


  • The study aimed to investigate the association between women’s place of birth and their failure to catch up with CC screening during pregnancy.
  • Researchers noticed that approximately half of women overdue for CC screening did not catch up during pregnancy.

Cervical cancer (CC) is the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide, both in terms of incidence and mortality. Screening with a Pap test is crucial for detecting precancerous lesions early, enabling effective treatment. However, access to this screening remains both improvable and inequitable. Pregnancy presents an opportune time for women to catch up on overdue CC screening. In the general population, women’s screening adherence is often influenced by social factors, including place of birth.

Elisabeth Lyonnais and the team aimed to investigate the relationship between women’s birthplace and their failure to undergo CC screening during pregnancy.

They performed an inclusive analysis using data from the 2016 French National Perinatal Survey, which comprised 13,147 women delivering after 21 weeks of gestation. The association between women’s place of birth and failure to catch up on CC screening during pregnancy was assessed. This association was adjusted for age, parity, education level, health insurance status, and timing of prenatal care initiation using logistic regression models.

About 49% of women recommended for screening were not up to date at the pregnancy’s outset, with 53% failing to catch up before delivery. After adjusting for various risk factors, maternal birthplace wasn’t linked to a higher risk of screening failure during pregnancy. However, factors such as low education level and late initiation of prenatal care were identified as associated with this risk.

The study concluded that approximately half of women overdue for CC screening did not catch up during pregnancy. Professionals should prioritize attention to women with lower education levels and late initiation of prenatal care, as they represent a high-risk group for failing to catch up on this screening during pregnancy.

The 2016 National Perinatal Survey was developed and implemented by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), three directorates of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and the French National Public Health Agency (Santé Publique France).


Lyonnais E, Vigoureux S, Blondel B, et al. (2024). “Women’s country of birth and failure to catch up an overdue cervical cancer cytological screening participation during pregnancy in France, an observational study based on survey sources.” BMC Cancer. 2024 May 16;24(1):595. doi: 10.1186/s12885-024-12335-1. PMID: 38750453; PMCID: PMC11097417.

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