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Test Out West wants to empower women to have Cervical Screening Tests, whilst celebrating the strong community spirit out West.

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 It's worth going for that check-up if you can avoid cervical cancer. 
 You wanna see your kids grow up. You want to be there for their big moments. 
 It's a really easy test, you just book with your GP… 5‑10 minutes and you're good. 
 It's a little uncomfortable, but I'd rather have those few moments of being uncomfortable as opposed to getting cervical cancer. 
 I'd prefer to know and be in the safe zone, or at least get treatment if there's an issue. 

Know the facts

Introducing the Cervical Screening Test

In December 2017, the National Cervical Screening Program changed.

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by an infection called the human papillomavirus (HPV). The Cervical Screening Test has replaced the Pap test and is more accurate as it detects the presence of HPV. Most people will have HPV at some point in their life but it usually clears up on its own without causing any issues. Cervical cancer is a rare outcome of an HPV infection that doesn’t clear up by itself.

Cervical Screening Test
(from 1 December 2017)
Pap Test
(before 1 December 2017)
What does it
test for?
Cells from the cervix are tested for HPV infection
Cells from the cervix are examined for any abnormal changes
How often?
Every 5 years
Every 2 years
When to start?
25 years
18 years
When to stop?
Women will have their last Cervical Screening Test between 70 and 74 years of age
69 years


Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.
Having regular Cervical Screening Tests every 5 years protects against developing cervical cancer.

The Cervical Screening Test is quick and simple and the actual test only takes a few minutes. If you have ever had a Pap test, the Cervical Screening Test is done in the same way.

You will still have an examination using a speculum (used to open the vagina) so that the cervix can be seen properly to take a sample of cells for testing. The sample is collected using a special brush which is then placed in a container of liquid and sent to the laboratory.

The test can be done in a clinic or consulting room by your doctor or nurse.

Worried you won’t remember when to have the test? No worries, the National Cervical Screening Register will send you a letter when your next Cervical Screening Test is due.

Do I need to get tested?

If you are between 25 and 74 years and have ever been sexually active you should get tested.
Women and people with a cervix, aged between 25 and 74 who have ever been sexually active should have the test every 5 years.

Sexual activity includes vaginal, oral or anal sex, genital (penis or vagina) skin-to-skin contact, or the sharing of sex toys.

Even if you’ve only had one sexual partner, you still need to have regular Cervical Screening Tests.

You should continue having Cervical Screening Tests every 5 years even if you are no longer sexually active.

If you have had the HPV vaccination (known as Gardasil) you still need to have regular Cervical Screening Tests as the vaccination does not protect against all types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.

Anyone with a cervix that has ever been sexually active needs to have regular Cervical Screening Tests including lesbians, intersex people who have a cervix, and trans men with a cervix. Find more information and support at The Inner Circle.

NOTE: See your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if at any age you have symptoms such as unusual vaginal bleeding, discharge or pain during sex. Don’t wait until your next cervical screening.

How much does it cost?

Many health services provide the Cervical Screening Test at no charge.
Many health services ‘bulk bill’ and provide the Cervical Screening Test at no charge to you – the cost is covered by Medicare. However, some health services are not a bulk billing service and may charge a fee. This means you may need to pay the full fee and then claim some of the cost back from Medicare.

It’s important to ask if there are any costs, and what they will be, when you make your appointment.

Health services that provide the Cervical Screening Test include:
  • Local doctor or general practice (GP)
  • Family Planning NSW clinic
  • Women’s health centre or community health centre
  • Sexual health clinics
  • Aboriginal medical services
  • Specialist (Gynaecologist)
Find health services in your area
Still have questions?
Learn more about the
Cervical Screening Test
and get in contact with us.
Learn more

Find Clinics

Use our directory to find your closest specialised service.
Or speak with one of our friendly staff on 1300 658 886 or
You can also visit your local GP
or medical centre —