March 2019 – Cervical Screening Tests

Cervical Screening Tests

What is the Cervical Screening Test?

The Cervical Screening Test is a simple procedure to check the health of your cervix. If you have ever had a Pap test, the way the test is done will feel the same.

The five-yearly Cervical Screening Test replaced the two-yearly Pap test. If you’re aged 25 to 74 you should have your first Cervical Screening Test two years after your last Pap test.

The Cervical Screening Test is more effective than the Pap test at preventing cervical cancers, because it detects human papillomavirus (known as HPV). The Pap test used to look for cell changes in the cervix, whereas the new Cervical Screening Test looks for HPV which can lead to cell changes in the cervix (see diagram of the cervix below).

HPV is a common virus that can cause changes to cells in your cervix, which in rare cases can develop into cervical cancer.

Once you have had your first Cervical Screening Test, you will only need to have one every five years instead of every two, if your results are normal.

Why has screening changed from two to five years?

The Cervical Screening Test is more effective than the Pap test. The Pap test used to look for cell changes in the cervix, whereas the new Cervical Screening Test looks for the HPV which can lead to cell changes in the cervix.

Because of this, it is safe for you if your test does not indicate (show) you have a HPV infection to wait five years between tests. Even if your test shows you have HPV it usually takes 10 or more years for HPV to develop into cervical cancer and cervical cancer is a rare outcome of a HPV infection.

How is the Cervical Screening Test more accurate?

The Cervical Screening Test is more accurate than the Pap test as it detects human papillomavirus (known as HPV).

HPV is a common virus that can cause changes to cells in your cervix, which in rare cases can develop into cervical cancer. By detecting a HPV infection early, it allows your Doctor to monitor the infection and intervene if there are any changes to cells in your cervix.

Please call the clinic to book your next cervical smear test or if your not sure when your last one was, please call to speak with one of the practice nurses.