Cervical screening is an important part of your gynaecological care. Screening can detect abnormalities that could develop into cervical cancer. Although most women will have a normal result, about 1 in 20 will have abnormal smears.
Who Should Have a Cervical Smear?
All women between the ages of 25 and 65 should have regular cervical screening. The smear test can detect any abnormal cells that are at risk of developing into cervical cancer. If the abnormalities are detected early, it is possible to remove the cells before they cause any problems. Screening can therefore help to prevent cervical cancer.
What to Expect
When you have a smear test:
- You will be asked to remove the lower half of your clothing and lie down
- A speculum will be inserted into your vagina to hold it open
- A specially designed brush will be used to collect some cells from your cervix
- The test only takes about five minutes and it won’t hurt, although you may feel a little uncomfortable
What do the Results of the Smear Test Mean?
The sample taken from your cervix will be tested in the lab to look for any abnormal cells. The results
- Normal: no abnormal cells were found and no further action is required until your next routine smear
- Inadequate: the results were inconclusive, perhaps due to an insufficient sample or an infection. The smear test will need to be repeated to get a clear result.
- Abnormal: abnormal cells were detected, which could be precancerous. The level of abnormality can be borderline, moderate or severe. Further tests and treatment may be required to get rid of the cells before they can develop into cervical cancer, especially if the abnormalities were severe.
If you have an abnormal smear test result, your gynaecologist may recommend:
- HPV testing to find out if you have the human papilloma virus, which is one of the most common causes of cervical cancer. If HPV is present, the abnormal cells will need to be removed even if they only have low-grade abnormalities.
- A colposcopy to confirm the presence of abnormal cells. It is often possible to remove the cells from your cervix during the procedure.
- Further tests or treatment may be required to ensure that all the abnormal cells have been eliminated, especially if they have moderate or severe grade abnormalities. Your gynaecologist might recommend a procedure to excise the affected area or a hysterectomy to remove the womb and cervix.
- More frequent cervical screening in the future.
All women between the ages of 25 and 65 should undergo regular smear tests to screen for cervical cancer. You can easily make an appointment at the Lotus Klinik by phone or using the online form. Our specialists are leading gynaecologists who can also provide the care and advice you need if you have had an abnormal smear result. Simply arrange a consultation to get any additional tests and treatment that you need.