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Cervical Cytology

Every day in the UK 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3 women lose their lives from the disease every day. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35.

75% of cervical cancers are prevented by cervical screening (also known as smear tests), however 1 in 4 women do not attend this potentially life-saving test.

So what happens?

You receive a letter through the post asking you to make an appointment for a cervical screening test. The letter should contain the details of the place you need to contact for the appointment.

Screening is usually carried out by the practice nurse at your GP clinic. You can ask to have a female doctor or nurse.

If possible, try to book an appointment during the middle of your menstrual cycle (usually 14 days from the start of your last period), as this can ensure a better sample of cells is taken.

It's best to make your appointment for when you don't have your period.

Cervical Screening - it's important!

You can download a range of videos about cervical screening and also some in different languages.

For a wide range of information on cervical screening please visit



More detailed information on cervical screening can be found at

CancerHelp UK

Cancer Research UK's information on cancer screening

Easy-read screening information

Macmillan and Change have produced this easy-read guide about cervical screening 
Read and download the guide here (EXTERNAL LINK)

Marie Stopes International

Marie Stopes International provides private sexual and reproductive healthcare services.

NHS Cervical Screening Programme

Website of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme, preventing cancer by detecting and treating pre-cancerous changes.

Screening information for transgender service users

Booklet created by Public Health Wales with information for breast, cervical, abdominal aortic aneurysm and bowel cancer for transgender service users
Read the booklet here (EXTERNAL LINK)

Women's Health Concern (WHC)

WHC provides an independent service to advise, reassure and educate women about their health concerns, to enable them to work in partnership with their own medical practitioners and health advisers.