How reliable is cervical screening?

Cervical screening is a very good test for picking up cell changes, but it is not perfect. Although it is rare, it is possible for the test not to pick up cell changes, or even cancer.

Even if you have had a normal smear result, it is always important to report any new symptoms to your doctor. These symptoms would include: -

  • Bleeding after sex
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after the menopause
  • vaginal discharge that is unusual for you – it may have a different smell, look or consistency (for example, it may be thicker)
  • Back or tummy pains