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New advice on sneer tests in pregnancy

As published today on, new advice comes in to play today (to be fair, not that different to old advice, but here it is! I'm sure the BBC and Sky will report on it shortly!

Smear test advice for pregnancy

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 03:00:00 GMT Medical News

Pregnant women may sometimes need to undergo a smear test - although the procedure is normally delayed until after childbirth, experts said yesterday.

New advice says it is recommended to have a smear test during pregnancy if it is a repeat test following a previous smear abnormality.

The advice, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, adds that colposcopies following abnormal smear tests may also be advisable during pregnancy.

However, women who are called for a routine smear test while pregnant should wait until the baby is born. The new patient information explaining when it is necessary to attend for smear tests is published today (20 March).

Women who are invited for a routine test should let their GP know they are delaying to make sure they are invited again. But if a smear test is needed during pregnancy, the best time is between three and six months of pregnancy.

When needed, colposcopy during pregnant is safe for the baby and can put the mother's mind at rest regarding their previous abnormal result.

Philippa Marsden of RCOG says: "Women are often unsure whether they should have a smear or attend colposcopy in pregnancy. This new patient information is designed to clarify when it is important to attend and when it is alright to put it off until after the baby is born.

"Women may also be concerned about future pregnancies if they have had treatment and we thought it would be useful to cover this as well in the leaflet."

Cath Broderick of the RCOG commented that the leaflet contains a table explaining whether it is necessary to attend colposcopy. She said this "is particularly helpful", adding: "Women may be anxious about undergoing smear tests or further investigations during pregnancy and this new information aims to answer any questions about treatment options and safety concerns."

9 Replies

Haha! iPhone clearly likes the word sneer > smear!! It's it an article about grumpy ultrasonographers!!!


Thanks Dr Fluffy - funnily enough I had a letter yesterday inviting me to my first smear (obviously I was really excited at the prospect) but wasn't sure whether being pregnant would mean I wasn't able to have one. I'll call them later today to put it off for a while :-)

Just out of interest, do you happen to know how long post-birth you are advised to wait?

Thank you :-)


It used to be 3 months - on the Tube at the mo, but will check Shen I get in to work.


When even!!


I've had a smear test done at 15weeks due to complications.results cameback ok although i've been told because i'm pregnant they are not 100% what was the point of doing it and stressing me out even more?


3/12 after delivery

A negative smear in pregnancy is negative. That 's why. You can get false positives (usually due to something called cervical ectropion), in which cases colposcopy is often the investigation of choice.


Thanks very much for checking. You are a handy person to have on this forum ;-) x


Would have posted earlier, but the only word that even comes close to describing my day today is 'carnage'!!


Link to the advice:


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