It was often thought that embarrassment and fear were the main reasons why women miss cervical cancer screenings.
But now a new study has revealed that many women who fail to attend smear tests may be doing so because they simply don’t have the time.
Researchers questioned 540 women and found that women who rarely or never vote in elections are more likely to miss screening appointments.
They said there may be a correlation between these two activities, as both require a degree of forward planning and some women may not prioritise them because of the busy lives they lead.
A number of measures were put forward to tackle this, including long opening hours at GP surgeries, as well as evening and weekend clinics.
Cervical screening can detect and treat early cell abnormalities in the cervix that could lead to cancer.
According to the NHS, early detection and treatment can prevent the development of 75 per cent of cancers.