Private Smear Test: What You Need to Know

Cervical screening, also known as a smear test, is a crucial preventative measure for women’s health. While the NHS provides free cervical screening to eligible women in the UK, you might be thinking about having a private smear test instead. In this article, we will explore what private cervical smears are, how to prepare for them and compare them with alternative options.

What is a Private Smear Test?

A private cervical smear is similar to any smear test just like the one performed by the NHS cervical screening as it involves taking a sample of cells from the cervix to check for high-risk HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and abnormalities. However, unlike NHS screenings that are available at GP surgeries or sexual health clinics, private cervical smears are offered at private clinics or hospitals.

Private smear test swab

Benefits of Private Cervical Smears

There are several benefits of choosing private cervical smears over NHS screenings. Private screenings provide more flexible appointment times and locations, shorter waiting times for results, and the option for additional tests such as HPV subtyping. Private smears can also be performed in between the 3 years offered by the NHS if you are concerned or have a family history. Moreover, private clinics often offer a more comfortable and relaxed atmosphere generally.

How to Book and Prepare for a Private Cervical Smear

Booking a private cervical smear is generally straightforward. You can search online for private clinics or hospitals that offer the service and book directly with them. Before your appointment, it’s essential to prepare by reading any instructions provided by the clinic and ensuring you’re up-to-date with your menstrual cycle. You should avoid having sexual intercourse or using spermicidal products 48 hours before the test. This can sometimes affect results in a traditional smear test.

Private smear test clinic room

The Cost of Private Cervical Smears

The cost of a private cervical smear can vary depending on the clinic or hospital you choose. Prices for private appointments generally range from between £150 and £350 depending on the services being offered. It’s crucial to research prices beforehand and factor in any additional costs such as consultation fees or additional tests. However, some private clinics may offer discounts for multiple appointments or bundle packages.

Alternatives to private smear tests

If you are booking a private smear test for the convenience of better appointment times, a more comfortable environment or flexibility in when you get tested it is worth considering an at-home smear test alternative. With at-home smear test alternatives, you get all the convenience and more of a private smear test without the need for a clinician to perform the test for you. The bonus is the test is also cheaper. At Thyia we offer all the comfort of a private smear test with even more convenience. Our test is proven to be as safe and accurate as a traditional smear test. Read this blog if you want to know more.

Thyia’s self-test swab

Thyia‘s self-test swab is a comfortable and convenient alternative to the smear test. It involves taking a sample of cells from your cervix using a small, disposable swab and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. The test is 99.8% accurate, and you’ll receive your results within 7 days. Best of all, you can take the test in the comfort of your own home, without the need for an appointment or uncomfortable speculum.

Thyia the smear test alternative


Private cervical smears can be an excellent option for those seeking more flexibility in their cervical screening experience. However, it’s essential to weigh up the benefits of having an at-home smear test alternative such as Thyia. If you have any questions about having a smear test and what this means learn more here about smear tests and how they work.  


  1. Walk-in Clinic: “Private Smear Test & HPV Screening | Cervical Cancer”1
  2. The Pelvic Clinic: “Private Cervical Smears”2
  3. The Women’s Wellness Centre: “Private Cervical Smear Test”3
  4. Bupa UK: “GP | Private smear test & women’s health concerns”4