What is Cervical Screening?
Cervical screening (previously called a smear test) is an early detection test for cervical cancer. It can show up abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix caused by high risk HPV (human papilloma virus) before a cancer develops and before there are any outward signs.
For more information about HPV visit www.jostrust.org.uk
When should I have it done?
Anyone with a cervix should have screening from the age of 25 until the age of 65. Health and Social Care, in line with the UK, recommend that a test should be done once every 3 years, under the age of 50, and every 5 years over the age of 50, unless you notice something is wrong or that your previous test result showed that another test was necessary sooner.
Under 25’s and over 65‘s do not need cervical screening, however you should see a doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Abnormal bleeding, especially after sex
- Unusual discharge
- Pain during sex
- Persistent unexplained low back pain
If you have never had a cervical screening test have one NOW!
If you have had a hysterectomy you do not usually need to have a further screening test unless the hysterectomy has been performed due to previous abnormal smear tests or if the hysterectomy was sub-total (i.e. the cervix was left in place). In some cases regular check- ups may be necessary and your gynaecologist will advise you as to the need for further tests.