The main points
- Self-collection Cervical Screening Tests (CST) are becoming more accessible in Australia. On 1 July 2022 everyone due for a cervical screen will be eligible for a self-collection CST option.
- The test is simple to do and is just as effective as the current tests at detecting certain strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which may lead to the development of cervical cancer.
- The test can be taken in private (the bathroom or behind a screen) at the clinic or at home.
Am I currently eligible for a self-collection CST?
You are currently eligible for self-collection if you:
- have no current unexplained symptoms (like abnormal pelvic pain or vaginal bleeding).
- are aged 30 years or older
- are at least two years overdue for a CST screen
Talk to your doctor or nurse about self-collection to confirm if you are eligible.
However as of 1 July 2022 everyone due for a cervical screen will be eligible for a self-collection Cervical Screen Test option.
How to take the test a self-collection CST?
- Your health care professional will provide you with the swab that is to be used
- Insert the swab into your vagina (like inserting a tampon)
- There will also be instructions on how far to insert the swab, such as a marker. The sample is taken from the vagina, it does not need to reach the cervix.
- Gently rotate the swab in the vagina and then place in the tube provided
Easy right! The test is simple and should be pain free.
What is changing?
As of 1 July 2022, everyone due for a cervical screen will be eligible for a self-collection cervical screen test option.
When should I have a cervical screening test?
Anyone with a cervix aged 25 to 74 years of age should have a cervical screening test every 5 years.