Women are being urged to attend their cervical screening appointments in an effort to rule out cancer.
Last month the Department of Health updated the smear procedure to include a test for the Human Papilloma Virus.
HPV causes the majority of cervical cancers and the screening will determine women who are potentially at risk of going on to develop cancer.
The department says the move is part of its focus on prevention rather than cure.
Consultant gynecologist Bob Fayle says it’s an important step forward: