The Renewal of the National Cervical Screening Program will be implemented on 1 December 2017.
The two yearly Pap test for women aged 18 to 69 will change to a five yearly human papillomavirus (HPV) test for women aged 25 to 74. Women will be due for the first Cervical Screening Test two years after their last Pap test. The changes include:
- women will be invited when they are due to participate via the National Cancer Screening Register
- the Pap smear will be replaced with the more accurate Cervical Screening Test
- the time between tests will change from two to five years
- the age at which screening starts will increase from 18 years to 25 years
- women aged 70 to 74 years will be invited to have an exit test.
Women of any age who have symptoms such as unusual bleeding, discharge and pain should see their health care professional immediately.
HPV vaccinated women still require cervical screening as the HPV vaccine does not protect against all the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.
Until the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is implemented, women aged between 18 and 69 years who have ever been sexually active should continue to have a Pap test when due.