Who is it for?
- 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.