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Let's talk about booking your cervical screening appointment.


When you receive an invitation letter from the NHS in the post, you can make a cervical screening appointment by contacting your GP surgery over the phone, or sometimes online.1 In some areas, you can choose to contact your local sexual health clinic to book.2,3

You do not need to wait for another NHS letter. Simply re-book via your GP surgery or local sexual health clinic.4

If you think you’re due your next cervical screening, do not delay.Contact your GP surgery or local sexual health clinic and ask about booking an appointment.2

Should you change your mind, you can always request your GP to add you back at any time if you previously decided not to have cervical screening.5

To book cervical screening, you can register with a GP...or you can go to a walk-in centre or sexual health clinic that offers cervical screening.  

Contact your GP surgery right away.4,6 The most common symptoms of cervical cancer include vaginal bleeding that's unusual for you (such as after sex, between your regular periods, or after the menopause); changes to your vaginal discharge; pain or discomfort during sex; and unexplained pain in your lower back or pelvis.6

Some of you might have had the HPV vaccine. Even if you have, it does not protect you from all types of HPV, so you could still be at risk of cervical cancer and you should book your cervical screening once invited.7


If you move house, be sure to contact your GP surgery to update your contact details so your NHS invitation letter arrives at the correct address.


Let’s talk about when you’ll receive your results and the next steps


You’ll usually be sent your cervical screening results by post within four weeks of your appointment. If you don’t get a letter from the NHS within the timeframe given to you at your appointment, you may want to ring up. Dependent on your results and where you live in the UK, you’ll be asked to:8

  • Have some more tests
  • Come back for cervical screening in 1 year
  • Come back for cervical screening in 3 years
  • Come back for cervical screening in 5 years 

The majority of cervical screening results come back as normal. Don't forget, even if you are given an unexpected result, it doesn't mean cancer. 

For further information and resources



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1. Jo’s Trust. About cervical screening. Available at: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/information/cervical-screening/what-is-cervical-screening Last accessed: October 2022 

2. NHS. Cervical screening: how to book. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/how-to-book/ Last accessed: October 2022 

3. Jo’s Trust. What happens at cervical screening? Available at: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/information/cervical-screening/what-happens-during-cervical-screening Last accessed: October 2022 

4. NHS. Cervical screening: why it’s important. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/why-its-important/ Last accessed: October 2022 

5. Jo’s Trust. Cervical cancer symptoms. Available at: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/information/cervical-cancer/about-cervical-cancer/symptoms Last accessed: October 2022 

6. NHS. Cervical screening: when you’ll be invited. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-screening/when-youll-be-invited/ Last accessed: October 2022 

7. Jo’s Trust. Cervical screening results. Available at: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/information/cervical-screening/results Last accessed: October 2022 

8. GOV.UK. Ten years on since the start of the HPV vaccine programme – what impact is it having? Available at: https://ukhsa.blog.gov.uk/2018/06/18/ten-years-on-since-the-start-of-the-hpv-vaccine-programme-what-impact-is-it-having/ Last accessed: October 2022