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Cervical screening (smear test)

What is cervical screening?

Cervical screening (smear test) checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina.

It is 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. If you are aged 25-49 screening should be carried out every 3 years. If you are 50-64 screening should be carried out every 5 years.

The sample is checked for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause changes to the cells of your cervix. These are called "high risk" types of HPV. 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.

What happens if I had my cervical screening done in another country?

If your last cervical screening test was done outside of England or Wales you will need to provide proof of the test result by email or by bringing to your practice so this can be added to your medical record.

How to book an appointment?

All cervical smear appointments are bookable online via the NHS App or Patient Access (ask your reception team for details. You will need to supply photo ID, or download the NHS app from your usual app store). Alternatively, click here to find the most suitable option for you.

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