CervicalCheck: The National Cervical Screening Programme
CervicalCheck is a national screening programme to prevent and control cervical cancer. The programme provides smear tests to women between the ages of 25 and 60. A smear test is a simple procedure that only takes minutes and is the most effective way to detect changes in the cells of the cervix.
The programme is voluntary and you are free to choose not to take part.
If you have any concerns regarding cervical cancer, have a family history of cervical cancer or have symptoms you are worried about, you should contact your family doctor (GP).
CervicalCheck provides free smear tests to women aged 25 to 60 who are resident in the Republic of Ireland.
Women outside of the eligibility guidelines
Although CervicalCheck normally provides free smear tests only to women aged 25 to 60, there are a number of exceptions to the screening age including women who:
- Are over 60 years of age and have never had a smear test
- Have attended a colposcopy service and require follow-up
- Have had or are about to have an organ transplant
- Have HIV
- Are on renal dialysis
How to apply
If you are aged between 25 and 60 and have never had a CervicalCheck smear test you can simply make an appointment with a registered GP practice or clinic. A letter of invitation is not needed to make an appointment and attend for a first CervicalCheck smear test.
To arrange a smear test you can contact a registered smeartaker of your choice to make an appointment. Thousands of GPs, practice nurses, and women's health, family planning and Well Woman clinics all over Ireland are registered and you can see a full list in the Find a Smeartaker section of CervicalCheck or by calling CervicalCheck on Freephone 1800 45 45 55.
CervicalCheck also sends invitation letters to women who are on the CervicalCheck register. You can check online whether you are on the register or call CervicalCheck on Freephone 1800 45 45 55. To register by post, download the self-registration form (pdf).
Women who have already had a CervicalCheck smear test will be automatically re-called by letter when their next smear test is due.
CervicalCheck has produced a number of information leaflets which provide simple information on cervical screening and what to expect when you go for your smear test. In addition, they have a list of frequently asked questions, which will help answer many of the common questions regarding cervical screening.
The Irish Cancer Society has information booklets on a number of topics, including Cervical Smear Test Results (pdf).