Cervical screening (smear test)

Cervical screening is a test to help prevent cancer. Early detection and treatment can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers.

Try not to put off cervical screening. It's one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.


We'll invite you for screenings if you're aged between 25 and 64. You must also be either:

  • a woman
  • a trans man registered with your GP as female, and you have a cervix

If you're a trans man registered with us as male, we'll not send automatic invitations but you can still have cervical screening. Book an appointment with us to discuss.

How often you need screening

How often you need screening depends on how old you are.

If you're:

  • under 25, you'll be invited up to 6 months before you turn 25
  • 25 to 49, you'll be invited every 3 years
  • 50 to 64, you'll be invited every 5 years
  • 65 or older, you'll only be invited only if 1 of your last 3 tests was abnormal

Getting an appointment

We'll send you an invitation letter in the post when it's time to book your cervical screening appointment.

The letter will tell you where you can go and how to book.

You can also book an appointment if you think you need cervical screening but you've:

  • not been sent a letter
  • lost the letter

Find out more on the NHS website

Read the guide to cervical screening on the NHS website.