What is cervical screening?

Cervical screening is a good method of preventing cervical cancer by detecting and treating abnormal changes in a woman’s cervix (neck of the womb). The first stage in cervical screening is a smear test.

What is a Smear Test?

A smear test can detect abnormal cells when if left untreated might turn into invasive cancer.


The smear test is not perfect and does not ensure 100% that you will not develop cervical cancer. How ever having your cervix screened regularly reduces your chance of developing cervical cancer by over 90%.

Who Should have a smear

All women aged over 20, who are or have ever been married.

 How often do you need a smear?

Every three years for women having routine screening. If at any time you get an abnormal result your doctor will informs you, where and how often you need future smears as you will probably need closer supervision.

 The Procedure

Cervical smears are taken in well women clinics in health centers or by doctors doing vaginal examinations on you for any reason. It Has to be taken at a time when you are not bleeding vaginally.

The doctor insert the speculum to visualize your cervix. She then wipes your cervix with a plastic brush very gently. This brush is washed in a bottle containing a special fluid. The result takes about 3-4 days to come back. Visit your doctor to get the result.

 What is the results like?

The most probably result will be a normal smear.

Another possibility is that there is some infection that needs treatment by the doctor. The smear may show some minor changes in the cervix that need further investigation THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU HAVE CANCER. In this case you will be referred to the women’s hospital. There you will get an appointment at a special clinic called the colposcopy clinic.