Cervical screening (smear test)

Cervical screening (also known as a smear test) checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina.

It’s not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.

Who the screening is for

All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 should get a letter to invite them for a smear.

If you've not been invited and think you’re eligible, please contact the surgery.

How often you need a screening

How often you need screening depends on how old you are.

If you’re:

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

Find out more

Read the guide to cervical screening on the NHS website.