Cervical screening

At Double Bay Doctors we offer a comprehensive women's health service including routine cervical screening for women aged 25 to 74 years.

  • Women aged 25 to 74 years of age should have a Cervical Screening Test, two years after their last Pap test.

  • Subsequently, you will only need to have the test every five years if your results are normal.

Changes to cervical screening

In 2017, there was a significant change to cervical screening guidelines. These changes recognised the introduction of the HPV vaccine against specific strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which causes almost all cases of cervical cancer.

The new screening program is designed to work together with the HPV vaccination program to help reduce the incidence of cervical cancer.

What is HPV?

HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection which usually shows no symptoms. Persistent HPV infection can cause abnormal cells to develop on the cervix and over time, if left untreated, these abnormal cells may develop into cervical cancer.

What is the difference between a Pap smear test and the new cervical screening test?

The new Cervical Screening Test procedure is similar to a Pap smear test. For both tests a doctor or nurse takes a sample of cells from the cervix. The Pap smear test used to look for abnormal cells in the cervix, whereas the Cervical Screening Test looks for HPV infection.

 

The new test for HPV can identify women who could be at risk of cervical cancer earlier than the Pap test could.

Who is recommended for cervical screening?

 

Women aged 25 to 74 years of age should have a Cervical Screening Test, two years after their last Pap test.

Subsequently, you will only need to have the test every five years if your results are normal. 

 

The age to begin screening has been increased from 18 years to 25 years because most women under the age of 25 have been vaccinated for HPV. In addition, cervical cancer in women under 25 is rare.

Resources: Australian Cancer Council