Private Smear Test & Cervical Screening Manchester
Cervical Smear Test
The cervical smear test is a simple and quick test that can save lives. Every woman who is eligible should have regular smear tests as it can detect any potential issues before they become more serious. Take control of your health today and book your smear test.
Book a consultation.
If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please book a consultation.
Don’t worry alone, we’re here to help.
Introduction to the Cervical Smear Test
The cervical smear test, also known as a Pap test, is a screening procedure performed to examine the health of the cervix. The test is used to detect any abnormal cells in the cervix which may lead to cervical cancer.
Eligibility for Screening
Women can have a smear at any age if it is privately paid.
How Often to Take the Test
Women can have a smear test as frequently or infrequently as they choose if privately funded. However it is not recommended that women take the test more than once a year because having the tests too close together may detect concerns that could have corrected themselves if left longer, perhaps leading to unneeded treatment.
Preparation for the Test
The test can be performed at any time between periods. You should avoid vaginal intercourse, using tampons, lubricants, or vaginal creams for two days before the test.
What Happens During the Test
The doctor or nurse will ask you to remove your clothes from the waist down and lie on a couch, with a sheet to cover you. They will gently insert a small brush-type instrument into your vagina to take a sample of cells from your cervix. The cells are then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Why Should You Get Tested?
- It can detect any potential issues before they become more serious.
- Cervical smear tests are very successful in preventing cancer in women.
- Early detection means treatment can begin sooner, leading to a greater chance of success.
- Getting tested is quick, simple, and reliable.
Cervical cancer is a rare disease.
Cervical cancer affects many women. In the UK, around 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year.
A smear test can be painful.
While the idea of a smear test can be uncomfortable, the procedure itself should not be painful.
How is the Test Performed?
The test is performed by a doctor or nurse by taking a small sample of cells from the cervix. This is done using a special brush that is gently inserted into the vagina.
- Getting Prepared
Before the test, it is advised not to have sex or use tampons for at least 24 hours beforehand.
- During the Test
The test itself takes around three minutes and is done with a small brush. It may be uncomfortable, but it should not be painful.
- After the Test
You may experience some light bleeding after the test. This is normal and should stop after a few days.
Understanding the Results
Cervical cells are no longer examined. Instead the sample is checked for an infection called Human papillomavirus (HPV) and only if this is present is you smear sample checked for abnormal cells. This is because the vast majority of abnormal smears are caused by HPV. In the private sector you can opt to have you cells checked for both regardless of the presence for HPV.
There are two possible results:
HPV is not found in your sample
Most people will not have HPV (an HPV negative result).
This means your risk of getting cervical cancer is very low. You do not need any further tests to check for abnormal cell changes in your cervix, even if you’ve had these in the past.
HPV is found in your sample
Your results letter will explain what will happen next if HPV is found in your sample (an HPV positive result).
You may need:
- another cervical screening test in 1 year
- a different test to look at your cervix (a colposcopy)
There are 2 different kinds of HPV positive result.
Table of the 2 possible HPV positive results
|Result||What it means|
|HPV found (HPV positive), but no abnormal cell changes||You’ll be invited for screening in 1 year and again 1 year later if you still have HPV. If you still have HPV after 2 years, you’ll be asked to have a colposcopy.|
|HPV found (HPV positive) and abnormal cell changes||You’ll be asked to have a colposcopy.|
What to Expect After the Test
After the test, you may feel a little uncomfortable or experience some light bleeding and mild cramps. This is normal and should disappear after a few hours. You can return to your normal lifestyle as soon as you feel comfortable.
- Take it Easy
- Stay Hydrated
- Pamper Yourself
- Engage in Heavy Exercise
- Use Tampons
- Have Sexual Intercourse for 24 Hours
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Needs a Cervical Smear Test?
The test is available to women of any age who have ever been sexually active.
What Happens if Abnormal Cells Are Found?
If the test results indicate abnormal cells, a colposcopy is usually recommended to examine the cervix more closely.
Can I Have a Smear Test If I’m Pregnant?
It is best to avoid having the test while pregnant as it can be difficult to interpret the results.
Can I Request a Female Doctor?
All doctors and nurses currently employed by Summerhill Health are female.
If you have any concerns about the test, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor or nurse. They will be able to answer any questions you may have.