Cervical Screening: Smear Tests

How cervical screening is done

  • You'll need to undress, behind a screen, from the waist down. You'll be given a sheet to put over you.
  • 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.
  • They'll gently put a smooth, tube-shaped tool (a speculum) into your vagina. A small amount of lubricant may be used.
  • The nurse will open the speculum so they can see your cervix.
  • Using a soft brush, they'll take a small sample of cells from your cervix.
  • The nurse will close and remove the speculum and leave you to get dressed.
  • Please see video on what happens at your smear test.

Have your say on Cervical Screening

The NHSE North West Public Health engagement project is to understand why the number of women taking up the offer of cervical screening is decreasing.

The target age groups are women of 25 to 49yrs and 50 to 64yrs, we want to reach as many women as possible in these age groups, particularly those we don’t usually hear from such as those who live in areas of high social depravation, BAME groups and any other groups you know of in your area who find engaging with health and other services difficult.

Insight work has been undertaken previously in some areas, and we do have an understanding of some of the barriers individuals face in coming forward for screening.

However, since COVID those reasons may have changed, also we know now that fewer younger women are coming forward for screening than before, and we need a better understanding of the reasons for this.

We also want to hear about ideas and solutions that will help more women to attend their cervical screening appointment.

Would you be willing to take this short survey to improve uptake, increase awareness and myth bust?

Take the Survey


Further information

Visit the NHS website for more information on cervical screening.

NHS - Cervical screening