- Cervical screening (a smear test) checks the health of your cervix, which is the opening to your womb from your vagina.
- It’s not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.
- All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should be invited by letter.
- 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.
- Finding abnormal changes early means they can be monitored or treated so they do not get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.
- Approximately 3 weeks after screening, you will get your results by letter.
Cervical screening saves 5000 lives a year. It is not a test for cervical cancer, it is a screening test to detect abnormalities in the cells of the cervix at an early stage.
All women between the ages of 24 and 65 to have cervical smears We try to do them at mid-cycle if possible. Invitations for smears come from both the practice and the local health authority. We feel that this dual approach helps prevent people being overlooked ! The smears themselves are done by our nurse, please ring for an appointment. Smear tests are always done in the surgery
Prior to having a smear we request that you read an information leaflet about them. You will also be asked to sign a consent form to have a smear.
Smear results take about 3 weeks to come back and if there is a problem we will write to you . Again the health authority may also write to you and again we hope this duplication of effort will help reduce any possible errors. The health authority will also tell you when the smear is normal. If the smear is normal we do not normally write to you. There are many reasons why a smear result may be abnormal. Do not jump to conclusions !
If you do not wish to have a cervical smear, please let the doctor or nurses know and we will document this in your records. Even if you don’t want a smear we are obliged to continue you to invite you for a smear.
When you receive an invitation to cervical screening from the Practice, please, don’t ignore it. It takes just a few minutes and could save your life.
- First time being screen, or nervous? tell the Nurse/Doctor, and try to relax and distract your mind
- Worried about discomfort? Ask the Nurse/Doctor to use a smaller speculum
- Feeling embarrassed? Wear a skirt to your appointment as you can keep this on during the procedure
- Don’t want to go alone? Take a friend with you, to keep you company in the Waiting Room, and be there for you after the screening
- Undergone FGM/cutting in the past? Tell the Nurse/Doctor
- Not sure what to expect? Go to jostrust or call 0808 802 800
Download or view our Smear Test Guide
Try not to put off cervical screening. It’s one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.