A cervical screening or smear test examines the cells at the neck of your womb. This detects any changes within the cells so that appropriate treatment can be given quickly.
If left, most cell changes provoked by an infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) will revert to normal. However, a small percentage will progress to develop cervical cancer over the next ten years.
Cervical smears look for these changes so that any areas of abnormal cells can be easily treated at an early stage, completely preventing any further progression.
The national screening programme invites all women aged 25 to 64 to be screened every three years till 50 years, then every five years.
They check first for the presence of HPV; if there are no signs of HPV infection, it is very unlikely that there will be any abnormal cell changes. If the sample shows HPV, it will be analysed for abnormal cells.
We offer a comprehensive screening service (at the Nuffield or our branch sugery) carried out in a 30-minute appointment for £164. There are additional charges for processing the smear as below.
- The sample will be automatically checked for abnormal cells – cost £53.
- if you are found to be positive for HPV changes in the cells of the cervix at no additional cost.
- If you wish to have HPV & and cytology done together, there will be an additional charge of £65.48
- So the total additional cost would be £118.48
Your doctor can answer any queries and confirm exactly which tests you would like at the time of the smear.
Occasionally, the smears or HPV samples cannot be analysed or returned as inadequate, in which case they need to be repeated in 3 months.
This is no one’s fault; it is just a weakness in all cervical screening programmes. Unfortunately, the labs still charge for these samples, meaning we need to charge you for the smear and repeat if necessary.
Self-Collection HPV Test
An alternative for our patients which provides women with the option to self-collect a vaginal specimen that is then sent to the laboratory for testing looking for high-risk HPV DNA subtypes. These can be sent out to you at the cost of £42.00
There is a well-documented high level of correlation between the HPV DNA results from self-collected and clinician-collected specimens.
A negative result means that these high-risk subtypes of HPV were not detected, and the patient is at extremely low risk of developing high-grade cervical disease/CIN2+ before their next routine visit.
A positive HPV result might indicate an increased risk of developing CIN/cervical cancer, and the report from the laboratory will provide a clear recommendation for follow-up/colposcopy.
Self-collection of specimens for HPV testing is not intended to replace existing screening programs but allows for the following:
- Those who wish to test following a change of sexual partner
- Option for identifying individual high-risk DNA subtypes
- Personal preference to self-collect vaginal samples
- An acceptable option for women who avoid having regular cervical smears