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Cervical Screening

DURATION: 10 minutes or less. 


RECOVERY TIME: Although this procedure may be uncomfortable, this is largely pain-free and you will not need to take any time off work. 

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Please attend your appointment in clothing that is comfortable and easy for you to remove. You can bring a friend or partner with you for emotional support.

SUITABLE FOR: All women over 25 and younger sexually active women who have abnormal symptoms such as post coital bleeding. 

Research suggests that 99.8% of cervical cancer cases are preventable, and the most proactive way of maintaining cervical health is by undergoing cervical screening tests on a regular basis. Formerly known as the smear test, cervical screening is an advisable preventative measure for all women over 25 years of age and consists of a sample of fluid and cells being taken from your cervix during a short assessment. This sample will be tested for High Risk HPV (viruses which are known to cause cervical abnormalities and cancer). If any of these viruses are identified then a further test is performed to identify if there are any abnormal cells. If this is the case then a colposcopy assessment will be required.

What to expect from cervical screening 

As this is a test that can cause many women to feel self-conscious, a cervical screening examination can be daunting but needn’t be something to worry about. When attending your appointment with Mr Gardner, every step will be taken to ensure the best care and comfort for you and this test will be conducted in a safe and sensitive environment. 

During this screening, you will be asked to remove all clothing from the waist down and asked to lie down on the bed. To make this test easier to perform, you will be asked to bend your legs whilst keeping your feet together and knees apart. After this, a speculum, a duck bill-shaped medical device, will be placed into your vagina in order to allow access to the cervix. A small sample of fluid and cells will then be taken from your cervix with the help of a small soft brush. Following this, you will be asked to re-dress as the examination comes to an end after a very short period of time. This assessment should be painless.

What happens after a cervical screening?

After your sample has been analysed, you will be sent your results. In many cases, a cervical screening will identify nothing irregular and you won’t need to do anything else. If an abnormality is detected, you may be asked to attend another cervical screening in a defined period of time or advised to undergo a colposcopy, a procedure in which your cervix will be examined in more detail. 

What irregularities can cervical screening identify?

After a sample has been taken from your cervix, it will be investigated for the presence of high-risk types of human papillomavirus, or HR HPV. Although HPV can refer to a large number of common viruses, there are certain strains of this that can increase your likelihood of developing cervical cancer. The HR HPV causes abnormal changes to your cells which if left untreated may cause cancer. It should be noted that the detection of abnormalities is not always something you should worry about as this is quite common. There are times when these abnormalities need to reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer in the future. You can find out more about what an Abnormal Smear could mean here.

Mr Francis Gardner 

As founder of Advanced Gynaecology, an accredited  member of the BSCCP and co-founder of the ESCCP Mr Francis Gardner has an immense amount of knowledge and experience in this important medical discipline. He is well-known for his calm, thorough and professional approach and has guided scores of women through a number of investigative procedures and medical treatments. Book in for your cervical screening test with him today. 



On average, an abnormality is likely to be picked up in 1 in 20 women. Although this rate may seem high, the number of women who are found to have cervical cancer after further investigation is closer to 1 in 2000.

As HPV is spread via sexual contact, those who are sexually active are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Infection with a high-risk form of HPV is also not dependent on your sexuality or the number of sexual partners you’ve had, as this can be contracted at any time. When discovered early, these particular strains of HPV can be treated accordingly, so it’s always important to attend regular cervical screening tests. 



Whilst it’s completely natural to be nervous, cervical screening is one of the quickest procedures to perform. When attending your appointment, you can bring a friend or partner with you for emotional support and you can ask Mr Gardner to stop the procedure at any time if you feel uncomfortable or unhappy.


Bleeding between periods, after sex or post-menopause could all be an indication of cervical cancer, so it’s important to get these symptoms checked out as soon as you encounter them.