Cervical Screening

My Cervical Screening

What is cervical screening?

Cervical screening is a free health test available on the NHS as part of the national cervical screening programme. It helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called high-risk HPV and cervical cell changes. It is not a test for cancer.

If you have symptoms, contact the surgery about having an examination. Cervical screening is not for people who have symptoms.

Who is invited for cervical screening?

You should be invited for cervical screening if you have a cervix. Women are usually born with a cervix. Trans men, non-binary and intersex people may also have one.

In the UK, you are automatically invited for cervical screening if you are:

  • between the ages of 25 to 64
  • registered as female with a GP surgery.
  • You may get your first invite up to 6 months before you turn 25.

You can book an appointment as soon as you get the invite either online by downloading the NHS app - NHS App and your NHS account - NHS (www.nhs.uk) or by calling the Surgery on 01772 503180.

How often will I be invited for cervical screening?

Your cervical screening result will help decide when you are next invited for cervical screening.

You may be invited:

  • every year
  • every 3 years
  • every 5 years
  • Straight to colposcopy for more tests.

What will I need to bring/prepare for the test?

Please wear a face mask or face shield to your appointment and throughout the appointment.

It is best not to book a cervical screening when you have your period because it can make it harder to get a result.

You should try not to use spermicide or oil-based lubricant (lube) for 24 hours before the test, as they can affect the results.

At your Cervical Screening Cytology Test

At your cervical screening (smear test) appointment, a clinician takes a sample of cells from your cervix using a small, soft brush. The test only takes a few minutes. If you feel worried about going for cervical screening, you are not alone.It may help to know as much as possible about what going for cervical screening is like. You could ask someone you trust about their experience, or speak with our clinicians for more support.

For further information around Cervical Screening, please visit the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website on the link below