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Your results

We aim to send out all results by post, within four to six weeks. Your results will also be sent to your doctor.

If you have not received a letter after six weeks, contact your doctor's surgery. If you do not wish to receive your results by post, tell the sample taker during your appointment.


Possible results

9 out of 10 results show no high-risk HPV.

No high-risk HPV found (HPV negative)

This means you are at a very low risk of developing cervical cancer.  We will invite you for another screening test in five years’ time.

Due to the success and effectiveness of HPV testing, the UK National Screening Committee has recommended that it is safe for cervical screening programmes to invite all women and people with a cervix aged 25-64 for screening every five years, if they do not have HPV in their sample.


High-risk HPV found (HPV positive) but no cell changes

If you have high-risk HPV, we will look at your sample for cell changes.  If no cell changes are found, you will be invited for another test in 12 months’ time. This is because the majority of people clear the virus on their own within two years.

If you continue to test positive for HPV for your next two annual screening tests, we will invite you for a colposcopy to check your cervix, even if you do not have any cell changes.

High-risk HPV found (HPV positive) and cell changes

If you have high-risk HPV and cell changes, we will refer you to a specialist hospital clinic called colposcopy.    

Find out more information about the colposcopy clinic.

These cell changes are called dyskaryosis. The changes are usually in the skin (squamous) cells covering the outside of the cervix. Sometimes they may be in the cells inside the cervix, called glandular cells.

Unable to test for HPV

This means the laboratory was unable to give a reliable result because not enough cells could be seen.  The screening test will need to be repeated after three months.  

It is important to be screened again.

Find out more information about your results. 

Frequently Asked Questions.

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