GOOD NEWS! The test performed to ensure you have a happy, healthy vagina and cervix has undergone a MAJOR update.
The slightly uncomfortable but VITAL bi-yearly process of lying with your legs apart, vagina 100% exposed while a healthcare professional does a bit of deep investigating is about to be phased out. The Aussie Government has instead changed it a little something called the Cervical Screening Test.
Oohs & ahhs
Rather than dumping a load of information your way we thought we’d break it up for you. So here’s what you need to know:
When will this new test be available?
Changes will be made from May 1 2017.
Because it’s 2017 baby and the future is HERE! The new and improved version of the check-up will be able to test for HPV (Human Papillomavirus).
But what if I've already had the HPV vaccine... ?
While most HPV infections (there are hundreds of types) clear up by themselves, the cancer-causing versions are the main cause of cervical cancer. Even if you’ve had the HPV vaccine, you’re not protected from ALL of the types of HPV infections. That’s why this new update is SO important.
How will it work?
The process of lying with your legs up is still the same, however rather than probing around in your downtown region for ages, healthcare professionals will simply swab for some cells in your cervix and sent it off to a laboratory to be tested. That's it!
What if I am due to have a pap smear before May 2017?
It’s VITAL for women to have their pap smear every two years to ensure they are not at risk of developing cervical cancer. Long story short? Don’t wait, book one ASAP.
How old do I need to be to have the test?
Previously, you used to have to be a sexually active 18-year-old, but now the new introductory age is 25. This change is because evidence shows that cervical cancer in young women is rare and stats haven’t changed in 20 years.
Do I still need to have a test every two years?
NO! You only need to have the Cervical Screening Test every 5 years.
Hi-fives all round.
For more information, please check out the Department of Health’s website.