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Results of your cervical screening test

1. How you get your results
2. Types of results
3. Accuracy of results
4. Open disclosure


The results of your cervical screening test (smear test) will be sent to your GP or clinic.

In the past, you would get your screening test result within 4 to 6 weeks of your test. Currently, results may take up to 18 weeks from the time you had your test. This may take longer in a small number of cases. We are sorry for this delay. We are working to reduce these waiting times.

We will write you a letter to let you know when your results are available.

The letter we send you will include a recommendation on what you should do next. You will be told if your sample is:

  • Normal (negative) - there is no cause for concern.
  • Unsatisfactory - there was not enough cells on your screening test sample to return a result.
  • Can't be processed - your vial may have been damaged or expired or your sample may have expired before it reached the lab
  • Contact your GP or nurse - this might mean that abnormalities have been found in your sample. Your smeartaker will have more detail about your result.

You will also receive an information leaflet. Download the 'About Your Smear Test Results' leaflet.