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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Your cervical screening appointment

Cervical screening clinics resume

Following the suspension of cervical screening due to Covid-19, screening clinics have now resumed.

If your appointment was cancelled due to Covid-19, your existing provider (GP or Le Bas Centre) will contact you to rearrange your appointment.

If you do not receive a call or letter, call your GP or Le Bas centre on +44 (0) 1534 443781 to make an appointment. With Covid-19 still in circulation, attend your appointment on your own and at the appointment time. Following all the guidance helps us to keep you and our staff safe. If it is necessary that someone attends with you, discuss this with staff at the time of booking so any arrangements can be made.

Contact your GP if you have any concerns, or develop symptoms while awaiting your normal screen . Anyone requiring treatment will be referred as usual to our specialist gynaecology department and colposcopy clinic.

Find out more about cervical screening and how to register and symptoms of cervical cancer and how to reduce your risk.

If you have any queries about cervical screening, contact your GP or the cervical screening clinic at Le Bas centre on +44 (0) 1534 443781.

Booking your screening appointment

Women should not be menstruating at the time of their cervical screening test as this can affect the interpretation of the cytology test, if it is required. The doctor or nurse should still be able to see the cervix.

Many women prefer having a female doctor or nurse to carry out the test. You can specify this when you book your appointment.

Don't use any vaginal medications, lubricants or creams in the 2 days before you have your test because they can affect the sample results.

Your appointment will be for about 10 minutes but the actual test only takes a few minutes.

What happens during screening

The cervical screening test uses a soft brush to take a small sample of cells from the surface of your cervix. You might find the procedure a bit uncomfortable or embarrassing, but for most women it isn't painful.

At your appointment:

  1. you'll need to undress from the waist down and lie on an examination couch with a towel or blanket covering your lower half. If you’re wearing a loose skirt you can just remove your underwear
  2. you'll position yourself on your back with your knees bent and apart. If you have back pain or mobility problems, tell the doctor / nurse
  3. your nurse or GP will gently insert a speculum (medical instrument) into your vagina to hold it open, so they can see your cervix
  4. they will then gently brush cells from the cervix using a soft brush. The cells will be sent to a specialist laboratory for testing
  5. you can then get dressed

Watch a video about having a cervical screening test on NHS Choices website.

You'll be advised how and when you'll get your result (this is usually within a month).

The results of your cervical screening

Since mid September 2019, a newer test has been used in the specialist NHS laboratory that tests Jersey's cervical screening samples. The new method of testing is designed to detect human papillomavirus (HPV). This test is known as HPV primary screening. Some high-risk types of HPV can lead to abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. If a sample is HPV positive, it will be tested for abnormal cervical cells. Compared to the previously used cytology method of testing, HPV primary screening ensures early signs of cervical disease are spotted and treated earlier.

After your cervical screening test, you will receive one of four possible results: 

      1. HPV negative
      2. HPV positive: no abnormal cells
      3. HPV positive: abnormal cells
      4. Inadequate result

HPV negative

If you receive a HPV negative result, this means it’s highly unlikely that you will have any abnormal cervical cells. Even if you did, it would be extremely unlikely that they would cause a problem. We will simply call you back for screening again in 3 or 5 years’ time (depending on your age).

HPV positive: no abnormal cells

If your sample is HPV positive we also test it for abnormal cervical cells. If none are found, your result will say you have HPV, but no abnormal cells. We will ask you to come for screening again sooner than usual (your result letter will explain when). This is so we can check if your immune system has got rid of the HPV (this happens in most cases).

HPV positive: abnormal cells

There are several ‘grades’ of abnormal cells as some are more serious than others. Your result letter will explain what your results mean. If you have HPV and any grade of abnormal cervical cells we will refer you for colposcopy.

Colposcopy is a closer examination of the cervix performed at an out-patient clinic at the hospital. A colposcope is like a pair of binoculars on a stand. This allows the doctor to see the cervix magnified so they can assess the abnormal cells. Sometimes a biopsy or removal of abnormal cells will be performed to help prevent cancer.

Inadequate result

Occasionally a sample may be called ‘inadequate’. This may be due to a technical problem, for example if the laboratory cannot get an HPV test result from your sample or cannot see if abnormal cells are present or not. If you have an inadequate test, we will ask you to have cervical screening again in 3 months’ time. We wait so that there are enough cells again to get a sample from.

​Symptoms between screening tests

Screening isn't a suitable test for investigating symptoms. If you have symptoms between screening tests (such as discharge, bleeding after sex or bleeding between periods) you should see your GP as soon as possible as he/she may refer you to a Gynaecology specialist at the hospital for investigations.

Don't wait for your next screening test.​​ In fact, a screening test could come back as negative and may lead your GP into a false sense of security that he/she doesn't refer you to a specialist in hospital. 

Find out more about the symptoms of cervical cancer and how to reduce your risk​.

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