Your doctor or nurse (usually a female) will take a small sample of cervical cells during the cervical screening at the lab. The duration for just the testing shouldn’t be up to 5 minutes. In about 10 minutes, the entire appointment should be completed.
Before the screening, the gynaecologist at Gynaecology Clinic should tell you what the test involves and provide answers to your questions.
How cervical screening is performed
- You will take off your clothes from your waist down behind a screen, and a sheet for your cover will be given to you
- You’ll lie on your back on the bed, bend your legs, keep your feet together and spread your knees apart. There may be a change in position during the smear test
- A speculum will be gently inserted into your vagina – it may be lubed up a little
- The doctor will open up the speculum for a better view of your cervix
- With a soft brush, a small sample of cells from your cervix will be taken
- The doctor will close the speculum, take it out, and allow you to put on your clothes
You can have an easy test with these tips
- Wear clothes that don’t leave you completely naked, like a skirt
- Go with someone for support
- Relax via breathing exercises
- Ask that the doctor use a smaller speculum
- You can try a different lying position, like lying on your side
- Go along with something that’ll distract you during the test
You shouldn’t do these:
- Don’t be under pressure to continue the test; you can tell the nurse to discontinue midway.
- Don’t get embarrassed or scared of telling the nurse how you feel. Speaking to them will make them support you better during the private smear test.
What you should expect post cervical screening
It’s usual to have light bleeding or spotting after the test, but it’ll disappear in no time. Where you start bleeding heavily, or the bleeding doesn’t stop few hours after the test, please see your GP.
Cervical screening test results
Your result will be sent to you via a letter or a phone call to your GP.
Your nurse or doctor will tell you when you’ll get the test result. If it takes more time to come, call your GP to know why.
Don’t get anxious if the result is delayed. It may not mean something terrible – most people have normal results.
Your result interpretation
The test will be carried out, and its meaning will be detailed in your result letters.
Where the result is “inadequate”, it implies it wasn’t clear. You’ll be asked to do a re-test three months after.
An HPV negative result means no HPV was found in your sample. It implies you’re at low risk of contracting cervical cancer. No further test for abnormal cells in the cervix will be done, regardless of whether you’ve done it previously. In 3 or 5 years, you’ll retake the test.
An HPV positive result with no abnormal cells means you’ll be screened in one year, and another screening will happen two years after if you still have HPV. If, after three years, you still have HPV, your doctor will recommend a colposcopy.
An HPV positive result with abnormal cells means you’ll be undergoing a colposcopy.
Where you need a colposcopy
A colposcopy is a straightforward procedure to examine your cervix. And it’s just like pap smear test, but performed in the clinic. Colposcopy is required when there are changes in your cervical cells.
You’ve got to relax if your doctor says you’re getting a colposcopy. Before your colposcopy appointment, the cervical cell changes will not worsen.
Help and support with cervical screening
This may be needed for many reasons.
For everyone and those with a learning disability, there’s help at Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Forum.
The LGBT community can get support at GOV.UK and the LGBT Foundation.
The Vulva Pain Society provides support for those experiencing vulva pain.
Those who have been sexually assaulted can get support from My Body Back Project and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. Public Health England Screening Helpdesk can be contacted for questions on cervical screening practice on 020 3682 0890 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. But they can’t access medical records and cannot give medical advice or result of screening. So, consult your GP surgery for the results of the private smear test near me.