If you’re under 25, you may no longer need to visit a healthcare provider for a Pap test.
It has recently been replaced with a new Cervical Screening Test that only needs to be undertaken every five years from age 25 onwards.
The test is a simple procedure to check the health of your cervix. It feels the same as the Pap test, but tests for the human papillomavirus (known as HPV).
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and the new Cervical Screening Test is expected to protect up to 30 per cent more women.
Your first Cervical Screening Test is due two years after your last Pap test if you have had a normal screening history. After that, you will only need to have the test every five years, if your results are normal.
However, women who have experienced sexual activity at a young age (14 years or younger) and who have not received the HPV vaccine before having sex for the first time, or for those that have been victims of sexual abuse, a single HPV test between 20 and 24 years of age could be considered on an individual basis.
Remember, regular cervical screening is your best protection against cervical cancer.
If you are due for testing or believe you are eligible for a Cervical Screening Test, contact your healthcare provider to book an appointment. For more information about the National Cervical Screening Program, visit www.cancerscreening.gov.au/cervical or call 13 15 56.