25 June update
If you’re aged 25-65, a woman or a person with a cervix, and have ever had sexual contact (including non-penetrative sex), cervical screening is an important part of your healthcare.
Your cervix is the opening to your uterus (womb) from your vagina. Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
Most people contract HPV within their lifetimes and may not even be aware that they have it. You may be at risk of cervical cancer if you have certain high-risk types of HPV. High-risk HPV can cause abnormal, or pre-cancerous, cells to grow around your cervix.
About Cervical Cancer
Every year in Ireland approximately 300 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer, with over 90 lives lost to the disease. Cervical cancer often has no signs or symptoms. Symptoms of cervical cancer may include abnormal bleeding, pain in your pelvis or pain during sex.
If you are worried about symptoms that might mean you have cervical cancer, please phone the IFPA, your GP or contact CervicalCheck on 1800 45 45 55.
Never ignore symptoms.
Routine Cervical Screening
Cervical screening can help prevent the development of cervical cancer.
It is not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer from developing. Cervical screening can detect signs of cervical cancer in people with no symptoms. Routine screening is offered to women and people with a cervix between the ages of 25-65.
A new method of cervical screening has been used in Ireland since March 2020. This is called HPV cervical screening. If you’ve had a smear test before, then you’ll find that the new test is very similar. The biggest difference is that the new HPV cervical screening test checks if you have any of the high-risk types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. If HPV is found, your sample will be checked to see if you have any abnormal cells in your cervix.
You can find out more about the screening process here.
You can also watch our video on HPV cervical screening or have a read of our HPV Cervical Screening FAQs:
You do not need to pay cervical screening, it’s free. The IFPA is registered with CervicalCheck, the National Cervical Screening Programme, offering free cervical screening to women aged 25 to 65 at our two Dublin clinics.
If you don’t live in the Dublin area, see www.cervicalcheck.ie for a full list of registered cervical screening services.