What Does A Cervical Screening Test Involve?


A cervical screening test is also known as a pap test or smear test. It’s a straightforward test that checks for a virus called HPV – human papillomavirus – which is passed through any sexual activity. This virus can cause cervical cancer; so detecting HPV early means that any risk of cancer can be addressed.

What Happens At A Cervical Smear Test?

You may be feeling nervous about your screening test. At Mooney Medical, we understand that you’re likely to be feeling worried about the process, and we’ll do what we can to make everything as comfortable as possible. To help you get prepared, here’s a run down of what you can expect at your appointment.

Your doctor will start by asking you to take off what ever you’re wearing on your bottom half. They’ll then ask you to get onto the bed. There will be a sterile sheet under you for hygiene, and over you so you feel less exposed.

Once you’re as comfortable as you can be, your doctor will ask you to lie back with your knees bent and legs apart. To get a clear smear, we need to open your vagina. For this the doctor will use a speculum. It can be made of metal or plastic and can feel a little cold. Try to relax (we know it’s not easy) by taking some deep breaths and trying to think about something else.

When the speculum is in place, your doctor will take a swab of your cervix using a small brush. This can feel uncomfortable or peculiar, but it should never hurt. If you feel any pain at all tell your doctor.

When Should I Have My Cervical Smear Test?

If you’re over 25 then you should have a cervical smear test every 5 years.

Do I Have To Pay For A Cervical Smear Test?

The cost of the test and analysis is covered by the National Cervical Screening Program. You may need to pay for your doctor’s time though, so do check the fees when you book.

How Do I Get My Results?

It takes about two weeks for your results to come back from the lab. Your doctor may call you to talk about the results, or they may just send a letter. You can ask on the day of your appointment to find out exactly what happens at your medical centre.

If your test is showing that you have HPV your doctor will ask you to come back to the centre to follow up and go through your next steps. It’s unusual for HPV to develop into cervical cancer, but it’s essential that any presence of HPV is followed up.

How Do I Make An Appointment For A Cervical Screening Test?

You can make your appointment by calling 074779 3055 or book onlineTo help you feel as comfortable as possible, you can choose to have your appointment done by a female doctor, and some of our team such as Dr Niraja Rajeevan specialise in women’s health.