Cervical screening plays a vital role in the Irish health system’s efforts to prevent and detect cervical cancer at an early stage, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. The national cervical screening program, CervicalCheck, aims to provide free smear tests to eligible women aged 25 to 65 every three to five years.

These tests involve collecting a sample of cells from the cervix, which are then examined for abnormalities or signs of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, a known risk factor for cervical cancer. The screening process aims to detect precancerous changes in the cervix early on, allowing for timely intervention and treatment to prevent the development of cervical cancer.

CervicalCheck also provides education and information on cervical health, HPV vaccination, and the importance of regular screening. Despite challenges such as screening uptake and the need for improved access to services, cervical screening remains a cornerstone of preventive healthcare in Ireland, contributing significantly to the reduction of cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates. Ongoing efforts continue to focus on enhancing the effectiveness and accessibility of cervical screening services to ensure the well-being of women across the country.