Cervical Cancer Screening
CervicalCheck is Ireland's screening programme to prevent cervical cancer. The programme provides free, regular cervical screening tests to women and people with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 65. A HPV cervical screening test is a simple procedure that only takes minutes.
A cervical screening test is not a test for cancer. It is a test to help prevent cancer from developing. Getting a cervical screening test, the HPV vaccine and not smoking are some ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.
If you have any questions or concerns about the screening programme, contact CervicalCheck on Freephone 1800 45 45 55.
HPV cervical screening
The HPV cervical screening test is a new test that looks for high-risk types of HPV cells. These HPV cells can cause cervical cancer. Before March 2020, a previous method of screening was used. This was called a smear test and it only checked for abnormal cells.
If high-risk HPV cells are found then you will be checked for abnormal or pre-cancerous cervical cells.
Who should get a HPV cervical screening test?
Women and people with a cervix who are aged between 25 and 65 should get a HPV cervical screening test when it is due.
When can I book a cervical screening test?
If you are aged 25 to 29 years, you should be screened every 3 years.
If you are aged 30 to 65 years, you should be screened every 5 years.
Some people will need to be screened more often. If this applies to you, CervicalCheck will write to you and let you know.
How to get a HPV cervical screening test
CervicalCheck will send invitation letters to anyone on the CervicalCheck register who is aged between 25 and 65.
You should already be on the register if you:
- Are between 25 and 65 and have a PPS number or
- Have previously had a test through CervicalCheck
When you receive your invitation letter, you should contact a registered GP or nurse to make an appointment. Find out where you can have a cervical screening test.
You do not need to wait for a letter to book an appointment if:
- You missed your last cervical screening test
- Your next test is due
You also do not need to be on the register to have a free screening test.
If your test is due, you can book a test with a GP or nurse who is registered with CervicalCheck.
You can read about what happens at a cervical screening test appointment.
CervicalCheck test results
You will usually get your results by letter within 4 weeks of your screening test.
If you have waited longer, phone your GP or clinic to see if they have any updates. You can check what your HPV cervical cancer results mean.
Private cervical screening
If you want to have a HPV cervical screening test but you are not due to have one, you can pay to have it done privately.
CervicalCheck will not have access to your private screening results, and the private lab checking your sample will not have access to your CervicalCheck screening history.
Private gynaecologists are not registered with CervicalCheck.
You can find more information about HPV cervical screening at hse.ie/cervical-screening.
You can also free-phone CervicalCheck on 1800 45 45 55.
The Irish Cancer Society has information on cervical cancer.