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Cervical screening, also known as a smear test, is a test to check the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina. Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but it is a test to help prevent cancer. All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 are invited to take part in the cervical screening program. It's important that you take up the appointment as soon as it is offered to you, as cervical screening is a very effective way to prevent cancer.


During the screening appointment, a small sample of cells will be taken from your cervix. The sample is checked for certain types of a virus called 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.

You'll get your results by letter, usually in about 2 weeks. The letter will explain what happens next. You may be invited to be re-screened 1 year after your first appointment, and in a few cases, you may be invited to have a colposcopy so that your cervix can be examined.

You can request a cervical screening appointment using our Nursing Services request form through the button below. Alternatively, you can call us on 0208 788 3252.

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