You are due for your Cervical Screening Test (“Pap smear”)

You are due for your Cervical Screening Test (“Pap smear”)


According to our records you are due for your next cervical screening test and this page contains information about why that is so important.

Up until now, Pap smears have been regarded as the best way of detecting changes to the cervix before they turn into cancer or finding a cancer in the very early stages.

However advances in medical science have now developed an even better method because it can find the risks for cancer long before they start to cause changes. Obviously preventing cancer is much better than treating it once it has formed.

Nearly all cases of cancer of the cervix are caused by the wart virus called HPV.  The new test – called the cervical screening test – takes a sample of cells from the cervix and looks for any sign of HPV. If HPV is not found, you won’t need your next test for another five years!

In the uncommon case that the test does show HPV, more tests will be carried out on the same sample, and you may need a follow up test in a year, rather than five years.  And very occasionally, we find significant changes that need further assessment and treatment.
Depending on your past results and whether you have any symptoms, some people are also eligible to do a “self collected” test. Please note that this must be done in clinic and requires an appointment.

Cervical screening is an excellent way of maintaining good health, since delay in finding changes greatly increases the risk of dying of cancer of the cervix.

Please ring the surgery on 9780 8900 to arrange an appointment. If there are other issues which you would like addressed at the same time, please ask the receptionists to arrange a double appointment. If you are not sure how long you will need, just ask.

All of the doctors are able to do the cervical screening test for you. We have female doctors available every day including Saturday morning and some evenings if you prefer.

We also periodically hold cervical cancer screening clinics on a Saturday afternoon. Appointments at these clinics are billed directly to Medicare (bulk-billed) but are set aside exclusively for cancer screening – we will not have the opportunity to deal with other matters at that visit.

The next cervical screening clinic will be held on Saturday 24th  June between 2.00 pm and 4.30pm

Please call our receptionists on 9780 8900 to arrange an appointment at one of these clinics, or with your usual GP.

If you have recently had a pap smear test or a HPV test already, could you still please telephone and let us know approximately when this was so that we can amend our records and update the reminder to the correct time.

We look forward to seeing you soon

P.S.   In some post menopausal women, due to aging, a speculum examination can be uncomfortable. In these cases, Vaginal Oestrogen cream / pessaries is recommended for 10-14 days before the test.  It is not essential but may make the procedure more comfortable. If your doctor suggested you use Vagifem prior to your cervical smear, please arrange for a script at least two weeks before your appointment. The easiest way to do this is to make an online script request here.