What happens at your appointment

During cervical screening a small sample of cells is taken from your cervix for testing.

The test itself should take less than 5 minutes. The whole appointment should take about 10 minutes.

It's usually done by a female nurse or doctor.

Before starting, they should explain what will happen during the test and answer any questions you have.

  1. You'll need to undress, behind a screen, from the waist down. You'll be given a sheet to put over you.
  2. The nurse will ask you to lie back on a bed, usually with your legs bent, feet together and knees apart. Sometimes you may need to change position during the test.
  3. They'll gently put a smooth, tube-shaped tool (a speculum) into your vagina. A small amount of lubricant may be used.
  4. The nurse will open the speculum so they can see your cervix.
  5. Using a soft brush, they'll take a small sample of cells from your cervix.
  6. The nurse will close and remove the speculum and leave you to get dressed.

If you're worried about cervical screening, there are things you can try that might make the test easier for you:

You may have some spotting or light bleeding after your cervical screening test.

This is very common and should go away after a few hours.