Cervical screening (smear test)

Cervical screening (also known as 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.

Who the screening is for

All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should get a letter to invite them for a smear.

If you've not been invited and think you’re eligible, please contact the surgery.

How often you need a screening

How often you need screening depends on how old you are.

If you’re:

  • under 25, you’ll be invited up to 6 months before you turn 25
  • 25 to 49, you’ll be invited every 3 years
  • 50 to 64, you’ll be invited every 5 years
  • 65 or older, you’ll only be invited if 1 of your last 3 tests was abnormal.

Getting an appointment

You’ll get a letter in the post inviting you to make an appointment.

The letter will tell you where you can go and how to request an appointment.

If you have not received a screening letter

You can also request an appointment at the surgery if you have not received an invite by letter, or if you lost the letter.

See surgery contact details

Find out more

Read the guide to cervical screening on the NHS website.