Cervical screening

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers through regular cervical screening. On 1 December 2017, the National Cervical Screening Program changed. Pap smears were replaced by a new Cervical Screening Test (CST).

The test is a simple procedure to check the health of your cervix (neck of the womb). The Cervical Screening Test looks and feels the same as a Pap smear, but tests for the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Regular cervical screening is your best protection against cervical cancer.

If you are 25 to 74 years old, have a cervix and have ever been sexually active, you should have your first cervical screening test 2 years after your last Pap smear. This includes people vaccinated and unvaccinated for HPV as well as people who identify as lesbian or transgender. If you are turning 25 years old, or are aged 25 to 74 years and have never had a Pap smear or Cervical Screening Test before, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider to have a Cervical Screening Test.

If you are under 25 years of age with a normal screening history, it is safe to wait until the age of 25 years to have your first Cervical Screening Test.

If you have symptoms of cervical cancer at any age, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during sex or unusual discharge, you should discuss these with your health care provider immediately.

If you are due for screening, contact your local healthcare provider to book an appointment .

Visit the National Cervical Screening Program's website or call 13 15 56  for more information regarding the new Cervical Screening Test and the National Cervical Screening Program.

The National Cancer Screening Register website has information about the register, how to   manage your participation and check when you had your previous cervical screening test and when your next cervical screening is due. You can  contact the National Cancer Screening Register on 1800 627 701.

If English is not your first language and you need help, please call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50. It will cost the same as a local phone call.