Donegal Woman talked to Mary Maguire of the Donegal Women's Centre ahead of European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

“We would like to reassure women that it is a very short procedure. It all takes around 15 minutes and that includes your paperwork and having a cup of tea afterwards if it is needed. Our nurses are very experienced and make sure to look after the women after the test,” Ms Maguire said.

What happens during a screening? Read about the procedure here on

The exams at the Donegal Women’s Centre in Letterkenny are carried out in the evenings from 5-8pm, and if the woman is not registered they can get assistance at the centre or do it online. All doctors and nurses at centre are female.

Women who are not within the 25-60 age bracket and are not due a smear can still avail of a test. The Donegal Women’s Centre offer exams for all women without a referral for €50.

“Women who have a private smear get their letter sent back to the nurse. If there is nothing to be concerned about you won’t hear from us.”

“It is an intimate exam and it does frighten women, but you can ring the Donegal Women’s Centre on 074 9124985 with any questions or for any support or reassurance that is needed,” Ms Maguire said. Visit the Donegal Women’s Centre on Facebook for further information.

European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week takes place from 22nd-28th January 2017. Regular smear tests for women aged 25-60 are free from over 4,500 registered doctors and nurses nationwide. For more information, visit or Freephone 1800 45 45 55.