Spinney Hill Medical Centre

Cervical Screening

What is cervical screening?

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.

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 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.

The nurse or doctor will tell you when you can expect your results letter.

Why it’s important

Cervical screening is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.

When you’ll be invited

All women and people with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 64 should go for regular cervical screening. 

As a registered patient at Spinney Hill Medical Centre, you will receive an SMS invitation whereby you will be able to book into a Cervical clinic at a date / time suitable to you. Alternatively, you can call the surgery and our patient advisor will be able to book you in. 

What happens at your appointment

During cervical screening a small sample of cells is taken from your cervix for testing.

The test itself should take less than 5 minutes. The whole appointment should take about 10 minutes.

It’s usually done by a female nurse or doctor.

Before starting, they should explain what will happen during the test and answer any questions you have.

Your results

Your cervical screening results are usually sent to you in a letter. Sometimes you may be asked to call your GP to get the results.

What your results mean

Your results letter will explain what was tested for and what your results mean.

Sometimes you’ll be asked to come back in 3 months to have the test again. This does not mean there’s anything wrong, it’s because the results were unclear. This is sometimes called an inadequate result.


Visit the NHS Choices website to find information about Cervical Cytology Screening

Patient Information

VIDEO LINK – https://bit.ly/2MC5DFP

INFORMATION LEAFLET – https://publications.cancerresearchuk.org/publication/spot-cervical-cancer-early

INFORAMTION LEAFLET IN OTHER LANGUAGES – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cervical-screening-description-in-brief

JO’S CERVICAL CANCER TRUST – https://www.jostrust.org.uk/professionals/health-professionals/colposcopists/resources