You can go to your GP surgery to have yoursmear test conducted and it's usually taken by the practice nurse.
In someareas you can also have it taken at a well women's center or sexual health clinic.
The procedure involves taking a sample of cells from the cervix which is theopening of the womb.
The person carrying out the smear will ask you to undressfrom the waist down and ask you to lie down on the examination couch.
They will ask you to bend your knees andopen your legs.
An instrument called a speculum will be inserted into your vagina and used to open the walls of the vagina so that your cervix can be seen.
A soft brush is then inserted through the speculum onto your cervix.
The brush will berotated a few times to collect the sample.
The brush will then be washed ina specimen pot and the pot will be sent to the lab for processing.
One of the items we use is a speculum.
It's a plastic instrument that is inserted inside andopened slightly to allow us to see the neck of the uterus which is the cervix.
A small amount of water based lubricant can be applied to the speculum to helpmake the examination more comfortable.
It's important to remember that you'realways in control.
If at any point you're feeling that it's too uncomfortable youcan always ask your smear test taker to stop.
You can of course take any friend orrelative with you to your appointment for a smear test.
If you have a specificgender preference of the person who will be taking your smear please speak to theclinic where you have or will make your appointment to see if they can accommodate you.
You should get the results of your smeartest within 2-6 weeks by letter.
If the results are abnormal the letter should explain what was found.
What happens next depends on what was found in your smear.
It may be that you have minor changes and you'll be invited back for a smear.
If there are more significant changes in your results you will be referred to aspecialist clinic called a colposcopy clinic where further tests and possibletreatment can be carried out.
Within the NHS we advise that women continue tohave smear tests taken to the age of 64.
Once you've had a normal smear test taken atthe age of 64 there's no need to attend for any further cervical screening.