This page was setup to answer the most commonly asked questions that we hear
regarding cervical smear tests. If you have more questions, you need more
information, or you want to meet someone face to face – we’re always ready to talk
and listen at INP Medical Clinic! Remember cancer, of the cervix CAN be prevented, and
as we all know “prevention is the best cure”.
Do I need a cervical smear test?
If you are a woman aged between 20 and 70 you should have regular tests.
You do not need to be tested if you have never had sex with a man.
What is a cervical smear test?
It checks that your cervix (neck of the womb) is healthy. The test can pick up changes in the
cells which can occur without signs or pain. Some of these changes could develop into cancer if they are
How often should I have the test?
Every three years. When you have your first smear you should then have another one year later.
After that you need a test every three years.
Isn’t the cervical smear just for young women?
No. In fact, it’s important for all women. And especially if you’re over 35 and have never had a test.
Or if you haven’t had a test for more than three years.
What if I ever had an abnormal smear?
It depends on what the abnormality was. Many abnormalities are quite minor and others more serious.
Discuss your smear results with the nurse or doctor to get a good understanding
of what type of abnormality your smear was. It is very common for women have had even one
abnormal smears result in the past, to have yearly smear tests after that.
Where can I go for the test?
You can come to us, at the INP Medical Clinic, 18 Nile Street, Nelson or visit your own doctor.
How is the test done?
The nurse or doctor will gently place a special instrument, a speculum,
into your vagina to open the vagina to remove a few cells for testing. The cells will then be smeared
on a glass slide and sent to a laboratory for testing. It’s a simple procedure which only takes
a few minutes. It may be slightly uncomfortable, but it is not painful.
What could the results say?
Most results are normal. Sometimes you might need to have another smear test.
This is usually because the sample of cells wasn’t good enough.
If your result is not normal, you may have an infection or minor cell change.
When a result is not normal, it hardly ever means you have cancer.