Cervical screening has changed in Australia. The Pap test has been replaced by a new 'Cervical Screening Test' every five years.
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Regular cervical screening is your best protection against cervical cancer. The new Test is expected to protect up to 30% more women.
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). For most women aged 25 to 74 their first Cervical Screening Test is due two years after your last Pap test. After that, you will only need to have the test every five years if your result is normal.
If you are due for testing, contact your healthcare provider to book an appointment. For more information about the National Cervical Screening Program call 13 15 56.
If at any age you experience symptoms, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain or discharge, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
The renewed National Cervical Screening Program
The Renewal of the National Cervical Screening Program has been implemented.
The two yearly Pap test for people aged 18 to 69 has been replaced by a five yearly human papillomavirus (HPV) test for people aged 25 to 74. People are due for their first Cervical Screening Test at the age of 25 or two years after their last Pap test. The changes include:
- a more accurate Cervical Screening Test has replaced the Pap test
- the time between tests has changed from two to five years
- the age at which screening starts has increased from 18 years to 25 years, or two years after the last Pap test if the Pap test was done at the age of 23 or over
- people aged 70 to 74 years will be invited to have a Cervical Screening Test.
More information on the National Cervical Screening Program is available on our FAQ page