Clifton Court Medical Practice

01325 465646

Cervical Screening

Who is it for?

The NHS cervical screening programme invites women aged between 25 and 64 for cervical screening. Screening also applies to other people within this age range who have a cervix, such as trans men.   It is estimated that early detection and treatment can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers.
  • It’s not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.
  • Cervical screening (a smear test) checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina.
  • Finding abnormal changes early means they can be monitored or treated so they do not get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.

How cervical screening prevents cancer

Cervical screening may check for:

  • abnormal cell changes in your cervix – left untreated, this could turn into cancer
  • HPV – some types of HPV can lead to cell changes in your cervix and cancer

What is HPV?

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the name for a very common group of viruses.
  • You can get it from any kind of skin-to-skin contact of the genital area, not just from penetrative sex.
  • Most people will get some type of HPV during their lives.
  • Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by infection with certain types of HPV.

When will you be invited for screening

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

What happens at you appointment

  • During the screening appointment, a small sample of cells will be taken from your cervix.
  • The sample is tested for changes to the cells of your cervix.

When will I get my results?

  • You’ll get your results by letter, usually in about 2 weeks.

Useful information