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.
Your cervix is the opening of your womb from your vagina.
You're in control of the screening and can ask the nurse to stop at any time.
If you're worried about cervical screening, there are things you can try that might make the test easier for you:
wear something you can leave on during the test, like a skirt or long jumper
bring someone with you for support
try breathing exercises to help you relax – ask the nurse about these
ask the nurse to use a smaller speculum
ask the nurse about lying in a different position – such as on your side with your knees pulled up to your chest
bring something to listen to or read during the test
do not feel pressured to keep going – you can ask to stop the test at any time
try not to be afraid or embarrassed to talk to the nurse – telling them how you feel will help them understand what kind of support you might need
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.