A very simple procedure that could help save your life - we offer cervical smears to those both under and over age 25, in the comfort of a private hospital.
Cervical cancer (cancer of the cervix) is one of the most common cancers in women and many women who've got it don't realise it for years. The earlier you find it, the easier cervical cancer is to treat, so it's important to get tested.
Having a smear is a routine way of checking that you haven't got cells showing early changes on your cervix. If you have symptoms this may part of what is needed, but do not delay seeing your doctor – If you come to us for a smear, we will do this for you but will also advise you to consult your GP. It is important not to delay
While cervical smears are, of course, available on the NHS for women over 25, we offer smear tests, in some cases, on sexually active women under 25. You may need to be referred by a GP for this service.
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You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
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Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
During a smear test, a doctor inserts a plastic or metal instrument (called a speculum) gently into the vagina to expose the cervix (neck of the womb) and obtains a sample of cells using a small soft brush. Most women find the procedure only mildly uncomfortable.
The sample of cells is placed in a plastic container with fluid for analysis under the microscope. This method has significantly reduced the number of inadequate smears. Only about one in 20 smears now need repeat testing. Test results are available within two to four weeks and the majority of women have normal smear tests.
One in 20 women may have abnormal cells detected on smear test. If a smear test result is borderline or mildly abnormal then the laboratory performs the HPV test. This determines if further investigation is required.
You will receive a letter from the nurse in two weeks. At the same time the nurse will have sent a letter to your GP. The letter will tell you if your smear was negative or if you need to make an appointment to see your GP. The nurse or the laboratories are not allowed to give you results over the phone.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Harpenden Hospital.