This study sought to understand how cervical cancer screening (CCS) awareness, sexual connotations and body image influenced the likelihood of CCS uptake in women yet to attend. Eleven females, aged 23–24, yet to attend CCS, were purposefully sampled. Interview transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis, generating three superordinate themes: (1) building screening expectations, (2) confronting sexual connotations and (3) growing pains. Findings demonstrated how a lack of awareness of CCS and the sexual connotations implicit in CCS acted as a barrier to attendance, exacerbated by negative body image comparisons between oneself and online or social media-based images. The perceived sexual connotations of CCS, and the resulting embarrassment, bolsters the case for self-screening, removing the need to attend clinic screening appointments. Reconceptualising screening using a theoretical model of the relationship between body image disturbances and body-focused screening behaviours among women, could lead to the development of pro-screening social media interventions.