Smear Tests

Cervical screening (smear testing) is available through our service.

All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should be invited by letter.

You can book an appointment as soon as you get a letter.

If you missed your last cervical screening, you do not need to wait for a letter to book an appointment

When you'll be invited for cervical screening:

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

When cervical screening is not recommended:

If you're under 25

You will not be invited for cervical screening until you're 25 because:

  • cervical cancer is very rare in people under 25
  • it might lead to having treatment you do not need – abnormal cell changes often go back to normal in younger women

If you're 65 or older

You'll usually stop being invited for screening once you turn 65. This is because it's very unlikely that you'll get cervical cancer.

You'll only be invited again if 1 of your last 3 tests was abnormal.

If you're 65 or older and have never been for cervical screening, or have not had cervical screening since the age of 50, you can ask your GP for a test.

If you are aged 25+ and your Smear Test is due or overdue (you've received a testing reminder letter), visit our Haymarket drop-in clinic on Sunday 15th September between 11am - 3pm to get your test. For more information please call: 0300 124 0102.

Don't Fear The Smear. 


During cervical screening a small sample of cells is taken from your cervix for testing.

The test itself should take less than 5 minutes. The whole appointment should take about 10 minutes.

It's usually done by a female nurse or doctor.

Before starting, they should explain what will happen during the test and answer any questions you have.

What Will I Need to Do?

  1. You'll need to undress (behind a screen) from the waist down. You'll be given a sheet to put over you.
  2. The nurse will ask you to lie back on a bed, usually with your legs bent, feet together and knees apart. Sometimes you may need to change position during the test.
  3. They'll gently put a smooth, tube-shaped tool (a speculum) into your vagina. A small amount of lubricant should be used.
  4. The nurse will open the speculum so they can see your cervix.
  5. Using a soft brush, they'll take a small sample of cells from your cervix.
  6. The nurse will close and remove the speculum and leave you to get dressed.
Midlands Partnership Foundation NHS Trust Providing Sexual Health Services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Services commissioned by Leicester City and Leicestershire and Rutland County Councils.
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