It is important to have regular Cervical Screening Tests as the best way to protect yourself against cervical cancer. Most cases of cervical cancer occur in women who have never screened or are not up-to-date with their screening.
The good news is that Cervical Screening just got easier! New changes to the National Cervical Screening Program mean that anyone with a cervix, aged 25 to 74, will be able to choose to have a Cervical Screening Test either by:
- taking your own sample from your vagina, using a simple swab (self-collection)
- having a healthcare provider collect your sample from the cervix using a speculum.
Both options are:
- accessed through a healthcare provider such as your GP.
- accurate and safe ways to collect a sample for a Cervical Screening Test.
Self-collection has the potential to reach under-screened patients, overcoming barriers to cervical screening by providing a more culturally appropriate and sensitive screening option.
Self-collection is not suitable for those experiencing symptoms (such as unusual bleeding, pain or discharge) or if follow up of previous abnormal results is required.
If you are interested in self-collection as an option for cervical screening, you should talk to your GP to help you decide what is the best option for you. You will still require an appointment with your doctor as there is much to discuss!