This is an important test that most women undergo at some stage in their lives
12 December 2018| Last updated on 31 March 2019
It involves taking a sample of the cells of the cervix to test it for abnormalities. The cervix is the entrance to the womb through the vagina.
Most women have normal tests and continue onto regular screening but approximately 1 in 20 women may get abnormal cells in the cervix.
This does not mean that it is cancer and these cells can spontaneously return back to normal. In some women these cells need removing so that it does not progress onto cancerous cells.
The cervical screening programme is different depending on the guidelines followed. In the UK the screening programme starts at 25 years of age until 65 years old. But in other countries it starts at 21 years of age.
Aim to have a cervical screening test every 3 years.
If there are any abnormalities, screening may be done more frequently until the cells are normal again.
Recently there has been an introduction to co-testing with the Human Papilloma Virus test (HPV). This is performed on the same sample if there are mild or borderline changes seen in the cells of the cervix.
The reason for this is due to the fact that nearly all abnormal changes in the cervix is due to this virus.
If there is no virus detected then the chances of developing any further changes in the cervix are unlikely and no further treatment is necessary.
However if there is HPV detected in the sample then it is important that treatment is carried out to reduce the chance of further abnormal cells occurring.
If you have any doubts or questions regarding the screening process then it is best to discuss these with your family physician or gynecologist.
For more information or to book an appointment, please visit Medcare or press ‘Click to Contact’ to submit your inquiries.
Dr. Nacrin Uddin
Specialist Family Medicine
Medcare Medical Center - Marina