Cervical Screening

What Is Cervical Screening?

Cervical screening (or a cervical/pap smear) is a method of finding abnormal cells on the cervix (the entrance to the womb from the vagina).

At your screening appointment, you’ll be asked to undress from the waist down and lie on a bed. A speculum will be gently inserted into your vagina and holds the walls of the vagina open. A soft brush will then be inserted to collect some cells from the surface of your cervix.

 

Who Is Cervical Screening For?

Women of all ages can develop cervical cancer, although the condition mainly affects sexually active women aged 30-45.

 

Why Have A Cervical Screening Test Done?

Finding and removing abnormal cells from your cervix can prevent cervical cancer. Cervical cancer often has no symptoms in the early stages, which is why it’s so important to have cervical screening done to ensure the cervix is healthy.

Symptoms of cervical cancer vary, but can include:

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual
  • bleeding after intercourse
  • increased vaginal discharge
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • bleeding after menopause
  • unexplained, persistent pelvic and/or back pain

It’s important to note that, whilst cervical screening is not a test for cervical cancer, it can detect abnormalities in the cells of the cervix that can lead to cancer.

 

How Often Is Cervical Screening Done?

Unlike on the NHS, which only offers cervical screening every 3-5 years once you reach the age of 25, Dr Penman recommends that if you are sexually active and over 20 years, that you come for a cervical smear every 3 years.

Under 20 years, generally the virus that is thought to cause cervical changes, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), is transient and the body is capable of clearing it. It is the persistence of this virus that leads to the changes in the cervix that can lead onto cervical cancer.

 

When Will I Know My Test Result?

If you have your cervical smear conducted on the NHS, you’ll hear the result within 2-6 weeks. Regardless of your age, if your test results are abnormal the NHS will re-check the results and may retest, but then only invite you back for testing after 1-5 years.

However, if you choose to have the smear done privately with Dr Penman, you’ll hear the results within 10 days.

If there are any details that require discussion regarding your cervical smear test result, Dr Penman will ring you and discuss the findings with you and invite you back for a follow-up consultation where he can discuss them further and recommend any further treatment if this is necessary.

Abnormal Results

Approximately 1 in 20 cervical screening tests show cervical changes. The majority will not lead to cancer as the cells will return to normal over time. However, in some cases, the cells will remain abnormal and require treatment to ensure that they do not become cancerous. Should your test show abnormal results, Dr Penman will advise you and arrange further treatment if required.

 

How Do I Book A Private Cervical Screening Test With Dr Penman?

You can book your cervical screening test by clicking on the appointment button below.

BOOK A GYNAE APPOINTMENT

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Please make sure that you are not on your period when you come for your smear test as this makes the collection of cells from the cervix impossible.

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Melodie
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Melodie

Woah, I never realized cervical smears were this important – thanks for the info – getting myself booked in now!

Barry Bullard
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Barry Bullard

my business partner’s wife is scheduled to have a cervical screening and he Is really nervous.   1 out of 20 seems like a high abnormal result.  Based on your experience what percentage of abnormal results end up being a cause for worry?

It would be helpful to be prepared as well as to prepare him.

Thank you!

Cheri
Guest
Cheri

Thanks for this helpful and informative article highlighting why it’s so important for women to have cervical screenings done on a regular basis. I especially appreciate the list of possible symptoms of cervical cancer as I have never seen them listed quite so clearly. Thankfully I am experiencing none of them, but you have reminded me to make an appointment with my doctor for my next routine screening. Thank you!

Sahar
Guest

Thank you for this post, I have been doing screenings since i was 25, and it is so important to keep track. Was surprised that some doctors were telling patients to start at 35! I feel a woman should start as soon as she is sexually active! Thank you for all the info!

Rick
Guest
Rick

Thank you for sharing this post , this topic can be somewhat uncomfortable to discuss. I been trying to get my partner to go get a cervical screening and a mammogram but she is reluctant to do so .. I think I will be sending her the link to this post and maybe that will inspire her . 

Fredery
Guest
Fredery

I am not a woman. But I think that this article can help my mom, girlfriend, and any other woman that I know. I will let them knkw about this article. It just has so much helpful information!

I have a question: how much does the cervical screening test cost?

And how much does it cost if it is done by Dr. Penman himself?

Sahar
Guest

I have been doing screenings since I was 25, I find it very important and I would never miss it even though my doctor told me i can do it every 2 years if results are normal. I was surprised to hear that some doctors are advising to start at 35. I feel every sexual active woman should do it annually. Thank you for this informative post.

Strahinja
Guest
Strahinja

This test is really important. Thank you for this informative article. In my country women tend to have different health issues with reproductive organs. It is a must for every woman to have at least one check up a year.

I am a father and a husband and I will get to know my wife with this test. You did a great job here. I really appreciate your blog. My second time here and had to give a thumbs up.

Strahinja

Vanna Denham
Guest
Vanna Denham

Thank you for this good information and it’s also easy to read.  

I have always had my pap smear thinking that was to check for abnormal cells that could lead to cancer.

I certainly understand the need for the screening.  However, I’m not sure I understand the difference between a Pap smear and a HPV test.  Is it necessary to have both?

Thanks again,

V. Pearl

Carol
Guest
Carol

Even though I have been doing a pap smear for years, I did not know exactly what was being done to me. The doctor usually explain the procedure, but not as explicitly as you have done in this post. I surely do appreciate your simple yet detail information here. Certainly, this is worth  sharing with my nieces.  At what age do you stop doing this cervical screening test? 

Oloyede3
Guest
Oloyede3

Thanks for creating this post it is really important for awareness of cervical cancer, I have exposed my family especially every female in my house to this article and it’s has been helpful for them and they have all gone for test. What is the main cause of cervical cancer can you please  identify them so as to take precautions against them. Having a cancer is Not a good thing at all, the pain and fear is just too much to burden. It is better for one to be safe.

Mary Ann
Guest
Mary Ann

Thank you for sharing this valuable information. I am in my late sixties but I faithfully went to the doctor once a year and had this test done up until a couple of years ago. 

This is great education for women – hopefully many will see this article and take your advice.

victor lavaza
Guest
victor lavaza

This is a very informative article, thanks for sharing. We all know that cervical cancer or any other cancer for that matter is a scare. After reading your post, I feel that all women, especially those sexually active ought to undergo screening so that threats of infected cells are eliminated.

As an initiative, am going to enlighten women around me that qualify for this test to have it done as it can be the difference between developing cervical cancer and not.

Thanks for sharing, best regards.

Darren
Guest
Darren

cervical screening is of vital importance to help prevent cervical cancer and give an early detection. My ex wife had a scare when she went for her scan and luckily abnormal cells were detected early and dealt with.

I think your post is one of the most important articles I have read and I commend you for publishing it. 

n2402
Guest
n2402

Very useful information posted. Thank a lot. Being a man, I surely did not know that it can be this serious and even fatal. I will pass this information to my wife. I have a question, my wife for a certain period of time showed most of the signs stated. We have been to the doctor but the doctor did not request to do a test or screening but requested a blood test instead. Hopefully, she is now cured and we had a follow up with the doctor. After the last examination, the doctor found that nothing was abnormal with… Read more »

Melissa
Guest
Melissa

Hello, I was wondering why the suggestion for cervical screening is every 3 years? I have always been told every 2 years. So as much I wish it wasn’t that frequent ,I still dutifully go and have the screening every 2 years. I’m wondering if the advice has changed, or I just have an overly cautious Doctor? That said I don’t mind Doctors being overly cautious!! Anyway thanks for the information and I look forward to hearing from you.

Maria
Guest
Maria

Cervical Screening is one of the most recommended test for early cancer detection. Thank you for writing about this important issue that sometimes is left aside for being a little annoying and quite uncomfortable. It is very important for women health and to have, if necessary, the correct treatment. Dr recommends it every 3 years, if every thing is OK.Thank you again for promote women health 🙂

Shy
Guest
Shy

I couldn’t imagine waiting 2-6 weeks for the results of the test to come back.  Although this can be a little scary for women to go through it is certainly better to know the results of such a test to help you in the case that it can be detected early enough to do something more helpful about it.  It is good to look out for these symptoms so that you can be aware of the possibilites and get tested to find out for sure so that something can be done about it eary on.