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Cervical screening (a smear test) checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina. It’s not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help 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 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 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.
Cervical screening is available to women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 in England.
All eligible people who are registered with a GP (as female) automatically receive an invitation by mail. Trans men (assigned female at birth) do not receive invitations if registered as male with their GP, but are still entitled to screening if they have a cervix.
The first invitation is sent to eligible people at the age of 24.5 years. People aged 25 to 49 receive invitations every 3 years. People aged 50 to 64 receive invitations every 5 years. Cervical screening is not recommended for anyone under 25 years old who has not been invited.
If HPV is not found, the individual will be offered a screening test again in 3 to 5 years (depending on age). Individuals who do have HPV will have cytology triage carried out on the same sample. This is to see if HPV has caused abnormal cell changes.
How to Opt Out- If you do not want to be invited for screening , contact the receptionist and ask to be taken off the cervical screening List. You can ask to put you back on the list at any time if you change your mind.
|Cervical Screening Information Leaflet- GOV.UK –
These leaflets explain cervical screening and support the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.
|Cervical Screening: Helping you decide-
Public Health England created this leaflet on behalf of NHS
|Cervical Screening : An easy guide –
A guide for those who cannot read or do not like written words from Beyond Words Cervical Screening picture story
(Other Language Films) – Select the “screening (other films)” tab
|What Happens When You Go for Cervical Screening –
Smear Test Video- This film is about attending your cervical screening appointment
|Resources for people with Learning Disabilities|