A smear test or cervical screening test is used to detect abnormal cells in your cervix (the entrance to your womb). Regular screening monitors changes in the cells.

About 1 out of 20 tests show mild changes called dyskaryosis*. Don’t worry - abnormal results rarely mean cancer has developed. A grading system has been developed to help classify these cell changes. Your GP may tell you that you have:

  • CIN 1 - mild changes
  • CIN 2 - moderate changes
  • CIN 3 - severe changes

These changes mean you may have pre-cancerous cells in or around your cervix. They do not mean you have cancer.

Not all abnormal cells need treatment. Your GP may recommend waiting to see if the changes disappear and may ask that you return for another cervical screening at a later date.

If your GP feels your dyskaryosis needs further investigation they may refer you to a gynaecologist.

Find out more about different smear test results and what they mean here.

* Source: NHS Choices