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Cervical screening during pregnancy

A cervical screening test is not usually recommended while you're pregnant. This is because pregnancy hormones can make it harder to get clear results.

You'll usually be told to wait until at least 3 months after you've given birth to have your next test.

You can still have a screening test if you are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding does not affect your test.

Read more about breastfeeding and cervical screening

If you're pregnant and due for a cervical screening test

Tell your GP or clinic you're pregnant when you're invited for cervical screening. You will usually be told to reschedule the test for around 3 months after your baby is born.

Call us on Freephone 1800 45 45 55 to reschedule your test.

But if you have previously had abnormal cells in your cervix, you may need to be screened while you're pregnant.

Talk to your GP if you're unsure if you should attend your scheduled repeat screening test.

Positive or abnormal results while you're pregnant

If your results are positive for HPV or finds abnormal cells in the cervix, it does not mean you have cancer.

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, it's a test to help prevent cancer developing.

Depending on the results, you may need:

  • no treatment
  • another cervical screening test in 1 year
  • a colposcopy

A HPV infection or abnormal cells on your cervix will have no effect on your pregnancy or your baby.

Having a colposcopy during pregnancy

A colposcopy is safe to have during pregnancy.

If a colposcopy shows changes to the cells on your cervix, you may need another colposcopy. You'll have this around 3 to 6 months after you give birth. This is to check on the abnormal cells.

It's important to go to all your follow-up appointments after you've had your baby.

Related topic


Colposcopy treatment and future pregnancies

Sometimes you'll need treatment to remove the abnormal cells.

Treatment for abnormal cervical cells will not affect your chances of getting pregnant. But there is a small risk that you may be at increased risk of a miscarriage or that your baby is born prematurely.

Tell your doctor or obstetrician (a doctor who delivers babies) about your treatment at the colposcopy clinic if you:

  • have had more than 1 treatments
  • are pregnant
  • are considering a pregnancy
  • have had a cone biopsy

The benefits of early treatment and prevention of cervical cancer outweigh any risks.

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