UK Cervical Cancer Checklist

Introducing the UK Cervical Cancer Comfort Checklist for a more comfortable cervical cancer screening

The Comfort Checklist aims to:

  • Increase awareness and understanding of the need for regular screening amongst women.
  • Increase the likelihood of cervical screening being perceived as a “comfortable” procedure and positive experience.
  • Provide practical advice to overcome barriers that discourage women from getting a cervical screening.

Women’s Comfort Checklist

For a more comfortable cervical screening experience Cervical Screening is one of the best defences against cervical cancer and is essential for women and trans people with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 64, who have ever been sexually active.

This list was developed to help ensure a comfortable screening experience. It aims to educate and empower you by providing advice on how to best prepare for screening and by explaining what you can expect from their GP or Practice nurse.

Simple steps to ensure your comfort:

Make an appointment:

Make an appointment with your GP or Practice nurse at a time that suits you. Spending a small amount of your time could save your life.

Prepare by doing the following:

❑ Review information on Cervical Screening so you know what to expect

❑ Wear loose comfortable clothing – you may be asked to remove clothing from waist down.

❑ Empty your bladder before you arrive at the clinic or ask to use the “loo” when you arrive.

❑ Try to stay as relaxed as possible – this will help minimize any discomfort. For example try to take some long slow and deep breaths to maintain a sense of calm.

❑ Consider bringing someone along to your appointment for support. Please discuss this with your health provider prior to the appointment.

❑ If you have experienced difficulties or trauma with previous smears, please let your healthcare provider know in advance so they can make adjustments.

Expect the following from your GP or Practice Nurse:

  • An option to have a support person present eg. relative/friend/clinic nurse.
  • Privacy to undress and dress.
  • A sheet to drape across your stomach and thighs to minimize exposure and ensure your modesty.
  • Easy to understand instructions during the procedure and reassurance. You can ask the GP or Practice nurse questions and ask him/her to stop at anytime.
  • Sterilised/disposable medical instruments (presented at a comfortable temperature) – to take a sample.


  • Further privacy to dress & provision of tissues, sanitary pads and hand washing facilities – if needed.
  • If you need any personal reassurance feel free to ask whether your genitalia / reproductive organs appear normal.
  • Feel free to ask when & how your results will be advised (generally provided within two weeks). Don’t hesitate to call your GP or Practice nurse to check on your results should you be concerned.
  • If any abnormalities are detected, your GP or Practice nurse will advise of further management.

Proudly developed by the UK Cervical Cancer based on expert recommendations For information about the Comfort Checklist please visit UK Cervical Cancer


Fighting for a cervical cancer free future