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How to book a cervical screening test

If you are on the CervicalCheck register, you will be sent an invitation letter. This is to remind you that it's time to book your cervical screening appointment.

You need to book your screening test yourself. Try to book your appointment as soon as you get invited.

You don't need to wait to for an invitation if you know your appointment is due. You can go ahead and book your appointment with a GP or clinic registered with CervicalCheck.

Contact us if:

  • you or someone you care for needs support to take part in CervicalCheck
  • your eyesight is poor or you are blind - you can ask that we contact you by phone instead

Where you can have a cervical screening test

Book your cervical screening test with a GP or clinic registered with CervicalCheck.

If you are 25 to 65 years of age and your test is due, you can get a free screening test from CervicalCheck.

You do not need to be a patient of a particular GP or clinic to have your screening test done here.

Find a GP or clinic registered with CervicalCheck

Private gynaecologists are not registered with CervicalCheck.

If your test is not due

If your cervical screening test is not due, but you want to have one, you will have to pay for it.

If you missed your test the last time it was due, you can still have it for free. But you should wait until you get an invitation letter from CervicalCheck before you book an appointment.

When to book cervical screening

Try to book your appointment as soon as you get invited.

It's best to book an appointment when you:

  • are not on your period – also try to avoid the 2 days before or after you bleed
  • have finished treatment for an unusual vaginal discharge or a pelvic infection, if you have one

You may have to delay having a cervical screening if you:

  • are pregnant now
  • have recently given birth
  • have recently had a miscarriage or abortion

Read more about cervical screening during pregnancy.

Avoid using any vaginal medications, lubricants or creams in the 2 days before you have your test. They can affect the results.

Things to ask when you book

Don't be afraid to let the GP surgery or clinic know if you have any worries about going for cervical screening.

In many GP practices and clinics, you will be able to:

  • let them know if you'd like a woman to take your screening test
  • let them know if you'd like someone else to be in the room with you
  • ask for a longer appointment if you think you might need more time
  • let them know if you're finding the test more difficult after going through the menopause
  • ask for a smaller speculum (a tool that's put into your vagina so they can see your cervix)

Do not be embarrassed about talking to the nurse or doctor on the day. They're trained to make you feel more comfortable and provide support.

If you have a disability

If you or someone you care for has a disability or needs support to take part in cervical screening, contact us.

Check here if the GP practice or clinic you want to attend is wheelchair accessible. But it is best to also call them. This is to make sure in advance that they can help you with any needs you have.

Tell the GP or nurse what is helpful to you when giving a screening sample. They are there to help you and make you feel comfortable.

page last reviewed: 30/12/2019
next review due: 30/12/2022