Cervical screening is an important medical procedure (test) that could save your life! It is a way of testing your cervix to make sure it is healthy.

It detects any unusual changes to the cervix.  If any unusual changes are found, these can be monitored or treated and reduce the chances of the changes turning into cervical cancer.

Cervical screening should be offered to all women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64.

Cervical screening is sometimes called a ‘smear test’.

If your GP has invited you to book your cervical screening appointment, you might be feeling worried about it.

The ‘Top Tips’ and Videos below can help to answer some of the questions you may have:

Top Tips:

  • You can have the information about the test in an easy read format – Click here to view the Easy Read guide to cervical screening
  • Talk about what happens with friends, family, or your Community Disability Nurse.
  • You can ask to visit the clinic where you will have the appointment so that you can get familiar with the room and see what instruments they will use.
  • You can ask for your appointment to be a bit longer – so you have time to talk to the doctor or nurse about what will happen during the procedure before it starts.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing. You will need to remove your underwear (pants).  If you wear trousers you will also need to remove these.  If you wear a dress or skirt, you can keep this on if you prefer.
  • You might feel more comfortable and less nervous if you bring someone with you to the appointment – such as a family member or carer.
  • Sometimes, people find the procedure uncomfortable.
  • If this happens to you, tell the doctor or nurse. You can ask them to stop at any time during the appointment.
  • Before the procedure starts, you might like to let the doctor or nurse know which word or hand signal you will use if you want them to stop.
  • To help you feel more comfortable, try to relax. Breathing exercises can help – such as breathing slowly and steadily in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  • You might find it helpful to close your eyes and try to remember and picture a time when you have felt very relaxed – maybe lying on a nice beach!
  • You might find it helps you feel calmer if you listen to music on headphones or have a comfort item to hold.
  • Try not to book the appointment when you will be having your period. But if you do find your period happens when you have the appointment, you can ask for the appointment to be rearranged for another day.

Videos produced on behalf of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) Learning Disability and Autism (LDA) Collaborative by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s (LPT) Primary Care Liaison Nurse Team, LPT’s Agnes Unit and WHM Work Connections.



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