What is cervical screening?
Cervical screening is a free health test available on the NHS as part of the national cervical screening programme. It helps prevent cervical cancer by checking for a virus called high-risk HPV and cervical cell changes. It is not a test for cancer.
It is your choice whether to go for cervical screening. We hope this information helps you make the best decision for you and your health.
If you have symptoms, contact your GP surgery about having an examination. Cervical screening is not for people who have symptoms.
Who is invited for cervical screening?
You should be invited for cervical screening if you have a cervix. Women are usually born with a cervix. Trans men, non-binary and intersex people may also have one.
In the UK, you are automatically invited for cervical screening if you are:
- between the ages of 25 to 64
- registered as female with a GP surgery.
You may get your first invite up to 6 months before you turn 25. You can book an appointment as soon as you get the invite.
How often will I be invited for cervical screening?
Your cervical screening result will help decide when you are next invited for cervical screening.
You may be invited:
- every year
- every 3 years
- every 5 years
- straight to colposcopy for more tests.