It is recommended that you participate in cervical cancer screening every time you receive an invitation and after you have read the information materials provided and carefully considered the potential benefits and harms of screening. Screening programmes in the European Union vary with respect to the age groups invited and the interval between invitations, depending on each country’s cervical cancer burden, local resources, and the type of screening test used.

Most programmes using cytology (Pap) testing invite women to participate beginning at age 20-30 years (usually not before age 25 years), and from then on, once every 3 or 5 years. If human papillomavirus (HPV) testing is used for screening, you will be invited from age 35 years (usually not before age 30 years) and from then on, every 5 years or more. Irrespective of the test used, it is recommended to continue participating in screening until the age of 60 or 65 years, and to continue participating beyond this age unless your most recent test results are normal. If you have any questions, discuss them with your doctor or health-care provider.