Screening for cervical cancer

Between the ages of 23 and 64 you are invited to participate in a screening program to prevent cervical cancer. The test consists of a Pap smear from the cervix. The test is free of charge. HPV-vaccination is another way of preventing cervical cancer. HPV-vaccinated women also need to attend screening regularly.

Call your General Practitioner
You will get a letter of invitation by e-boks with a leaflet about the screening programme and the importance of having regular Pap smears. Then you will have to make an appointment with your GP who will do the test.

At the doctor's office
Your GP will take a Pap smear during a gynaecological examination.
The smeartest is examined under a microscope in a laboratorium. You will get the results of the test about 10 days later. In most cases you must call the doctor's office for the test results.

The result of the Pap smear

Most test results show normal cells only. No further immediate testing is required if your test shows normal cells only. You will be contacted in a few years to repeat the test. Some women have slight changes in the cells (dysplasia) and need close follow-up. Some women have more severe dysplasia and require surgery. The surgery is a minor operation, called conization, where a small part of the cervix is removed.


Cervical cancer is caused by HPV (Human Papillomavirus). HPV might lead to changes in the cervical cells which again might lead to cervical cancer. HPV might also lead to other forms of cancer, e.g. oropharyngeal cancers and anal cancer.
In Denmark, all children are offered a free HPV-vaccination, from the age of 12.

The vaccination prevents HPV-infection and may therefore prevent cervical cancer and other cancers caused by an HPV-infection.

Read more about cancer prevention and treatment:

Cancer prevention and treatment - front page