Cervical Smears

Cervical screenings helps to prevent cervical cancer by checking to see if a virus called high-risk HPV is detected and if there are any cervical cell changes.

During the screening appointment, a small sample of cells will be taken from your cervix. The sample is checked for certain types of HPV that can cause changes to the cells of your cervix. If these types of HPV are not found, you do not need any further tests. If these types of HPV are found, the sample is then checked for any changes in the cells of your cervix. These can then be treated before they get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.

You’ll get your results by letter, usually in about 2 weeks. It will explain what happens next.

Who is invited for Cervical Screening?

Anyone with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 64 should go for regular cervical screening. You will receive a letter in the post inviting you to make an appointment for this. Once you have received the letter you can book in for your appointment.

When you’ll be invited for screening

AgeWhen you’re invited
under 25up to 6 months before you turn 25
25 to 49every 3 years
50 to 64every 5 years
65 or olderonly if 1 of your last 3 tests was abnormal