Cervical Screening (Smear Test/ Pap Test)

 

What is Cervical Screening?

Cervical screening (also called a Smear Test, Pap Smear or Pap Test) is a free health test available on the NHS as part of the National Cervical Screening Programme. It helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cell changes. Cervical screening is around 5 minute test.

Catching abnormal changes early means that they can be treated. This reduces the chance of cells becoming cancerous. It is not a test for cancer. 

If you have symptoms, contact us about having an examination. Cervical screening is not for people who have symptoms. 

You can read more information about the cervical screening on Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website.

 

What happens at cervical screening?

At your cervical screening (smear test) appointment, a nurse takes a sample of cells from your cervix using a small, soft brush. The test only takes a few minutes.

If you feel worried about going for cervical screening, you are not alone. It may help to know as much as possible about what going for cervical screening is like. You could ask someone you trust about their experience, speak with your nurse or doctor or simply submit the contact form at the end of this page and we will contact you so we can offer an appropriate appointment.

You can read detailed information about What Happens during a Cervical Screening on Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website.

 

Your Guide to Cervical Screening (smear test)


When English is not your first language we have interpreters available for your appointment so you can rest assured that language is not a barrier.

Bengali - Your guide to cervical screening 
[Video from © Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (https://www.jostrust.org.uk/)]

Chinese (Mandarin) - Your guide to cervical screening
[Video from © Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (https://www.jostrust.org.uk/)]

Gujurati - Your guide to cervical screening
[Video from © Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (https://www.jostrust.org.uk/)]

Hindi - Your guide to cervical screening
[Video from © Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (https://www.jostrust.org.uk/)]

 

Roma (spoken) - Your guide to cervical screening
[Video from © Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (https://www.jostrust.org.uk/)]

Somali - Your guide to cervical screening
[Video from © Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (https://www.jostrust.org.uk/)]

Tamil - Your guide to cervical screening
[Video from © Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (https://www.jostrust.org.uk/)]

Urdu - Your guide to cervical screening
[Video from © Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (https://www.jostrust.org.uk/)]

 

 

Who is invited for cervical screening?

You should be invited for cervical screening if you have a cervix and you are aged 25 to 64 years old. Women are usually born with a cervix. Trans men, non-binary and intersex people may also have one (please read more on the LGBT Foundation's website).

You may get your first invite up to 6 months before you turn 25 years old. You can book an appointment as soon as you get the invite.

 

How often will you be invited for cervical screening?

Your cervical screening result will help decide when you are next invited for cervical screening. Depending on your results, you may be invited:

  • every year
  • every 3 years
  • every 5 years
  • straight to colposcopy for more tests.

Please read more about Cervical Screening results on Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website.

 

How to book an appointment

You will receive a text, letter or a call inviting you to attend your cervical screening.

You can book your appointment using the askFIRST App. For more info and how to download the app please go to our dedicated page for askFIRST app.

In the app go to Book Appointments > Book Nurse Appointment > Book Smear.

If you don't have access to Internet please call 020 3474 6730 to book an appointment. More ways on how to book an appointment can be found here.

By calling 020 3474 6730 our receptionist can also offer you a late or weekend appointment for your smear test (subject to availability) at GP Extended Access at University Lewisham Hospital.

 

Contact us 

You can contact us regarding your Cervical Screening by submitting the form below.

The form below cannot be used for any urgent queries and it can only be submitted for one of the reasons highlighted below. 

For any other reasons contact us for a routine appointment here.

You can only submit this form if:

  • you have any concerns about the cervical screening and you would like to discuss these with one of our nurses
  • you cannot find a suitable appointment for your cervical screening
  • you need help with booking a smear test
  • you would like to decline/delay the cervical smear test (you will be given the opportunity to speak with a clinician so you can make an informed decision)
  • you if you wish to permanently withdraw from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme (you will be given the opportunity to speak with a clinician so you can make an informed decision)
  • you had your smear test abroad/privately and you would like to send us the proof and discuss arranging your next appointment. 

 

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