Freephone information line: 1800 45 45 55

Is a smear test advised for ..?

  1. A woman who is a virgin
  2. A woman who is not sexually active at this time
  3. A woman with a disability
  4. A woman who has had a hysterectomy
  5. A woman attending or under the care of a colposcopy clinic
  6. A woman who is pregnant
  7. A woman who is post natal
  8. A woman who is breastfeeding
  9. A woman who has sex with women
  10. A woman who is HIV positive

 

A woman who is a virgin

Every woman who receives an invitation letter may not be sexually active. If she is a virgin, research evidence shows that the woman’s chance of developing cervical cancer is very low indeed. In these circumstances, a woman might choose to decline the invitation for cervical screening on this occasion.

Further information:

 

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A woman who is not sexually active at this time

If a woman is not currently sexually active but has had partners in the past, it is recommended that she commence or continue cervical screening.

Further information:

 

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A woman with a disability

Women with a disability should be considered on a case by case basis.

In the case of a woman with intellectual disability, the consent process in particular must be considered, as only a woman herself may consent to participate in the programme.

In the case of a woman with physical disability, the smeartaker has to consider whether it is physically possible to take a smear test.

See the Further information references below for a more detailed treatment of the issues to take into consideration.

For women for whom cervical screening is not possible or appropriate, the programme should be notified. This will prevent future letters being issued to the woman. To notify CervicalCheck, use the Opt-off by Medical Practitioner form.

If there are difficulties in facilitating a woman’s request for a smear test, for reasons of disability, the CervicalCheck Access Officer can provide support (access@cervicalcheck.ie).

Further information:

 

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A woman who has had a hysterectomy

CervicalCheck is not aware of the medical history of every individual woman. In the case of women who have had a hysterectomy, some women do still require cervical screening, while others do not. Doctors are asked to advise the programme of the woman’s post hysterectomy screening needs – whether the woman needs further cervical screening or not.

To advise CervicalCheck, use the Hysterectomy Data form.

Consideration should be given to:

  • the type and reason for hysterectomy
  • the pre hysterectomy screening history
  • the management recommendation guidelines (see Further information below).

If no further screening is advised, CervicalCheck will not issue further letters to the woman.

Further information:

 

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A woman who is attending or under the care of a colposcopy clinic

If a woman who has not yet been discharged from a colposcopy clinic presents for a smear test, a smear test should not be taken. The discharge recommendation from the colposcopy clinic should be checked to determine her future screening requirements.

If a smear test is taken while a woman is attending colposcopy, it can have an impact on the treatment plan the colposcopy clinic has scheduled for the woman.

 

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A woman who is pregnant

A woman with a negative screening history or a woman who has never been screened may defer a smear test until they are three months post natal by calling CervicalCheck on 1800 45 45 55.

If a previous smear test result was abnormal and in the interim the woman becomes pregnant, then the repeat test should not be delayed but should be taken in mid-trimester, unless there is a clinical contraindication. A referral to colposcopy recommendation should not be delayed.

Further information:

 

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A woman who is post natal

A woman does not require a smear test postnatally unless she is due to have a smear test in accordance with her screening interval recommendation. Once a woman is three months post natal and requires a smear test, a smeartaker should proceed with the test.

Further information:

 

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A woman who is breastfeeding

Once a woman is three months post natal and requires a smear test, a smeartaker should proceed with the test.

Further information:

 

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A woman who has sex with women

Cervical screening recommendations do not differ for women who have sex with women.

Further information:

 

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A woman who is HIV positive

Women who are HIV positive are recommended to have annual cervical screening from the age of 20 years.

In order to indicate to the laboratory that a negative result should carry a one-year re-call recommendation for these women, the code CD4i should be ticked on the Cervical Cytology Form.

Further information:

 

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The National Cancer Screening Service is part of the Health Service Executive's Cancer Control Programme. It encompasses BreastCheck The National Breast Screening Programme,
CervicalCheck The National Cervical Screening Programme and BowelScreen - The National Bowel Screening Programme.

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