Aims Annual opportunistic screening for cervical carcinoma has been carried out in Germany since 1971. The creation of this S3 guideline meets an important need, outlined in the National Cancer Plan, with regard to screening for cervical cancer, as the guideline aims to provide important information and support for planned organized screening for cervical cancer in Germany. Methods With the financial support of German Cancer Aid, 21 professional societies developed evidence-based statements and recommendations (classified using the GRADE system) for the screening, management and treatment of precancerous conditions of the cervix. Two independent scientific institutes compiled systematic reviews for this guideline. Recommendations The first part of this short summary presents the pathological basis and considers various questions related to screening for cervical cancer. As also reported in earlier reviews, the meta-analysis by Kleijnen Systematic Reviews showed that HPV-based screening offers better protection against invasive cervical cancer compared to cytology-based screening. The authors of this guideline therefore recommend - in accordance with the guideline of the Joint National Committee of Germany (Gemeinsamer Bundesauschuss, G-BA) - that women aged 35 and above should be examined at regular intervals (at least every 3 years) and undergo HPV-based screening. Co-testing can also be carried out. Women between the ages of 20 and 35 should have cytological screening every 2 years.