Cervical Screening

Cervical Screening Test (smear test)

A cervical screening test (smear test) is a method of detecting changes in the cells of the cervix (neck of the womb). Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, it is a test to check the health of the cervix.

For one in 20 women, the test will show changes in the cells of the cervix. Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells will go back to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells will need to be treated to prevent them becoming a problem later.

CervicalCheck – the HSE National Cervical Screening Programme offers free cervical screening to women aged between 25 and 60.

If you have ever been sexually active, you should have regular cervical screening tests. This includes women in same-sex relationships.

Your GP will decide if you require a smear test if you are under the age of 25. 

How do I arrange a cervical screening test?

Make an appointment directly with any doctor or nurse registered with CervicalCheck. You can find out when your next cervical screening test is due and see a list of registered doctors and nurses on hse.ie/cervicalcheck or by calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55 or emailing info@cervicalcheck.ie

 It is recommended to have a cervical screening test at least 7 days after your period.

How often should I have cervical screening?

Depending on your age, you should have a test:

• every 3 years if you are aged 25 to 44 years

• every 5 years if you are aged 45 to 60 years

 More information

HSE leaflet on free cervical screening

Check if you are on the Cervical Check Register