I'm under 25
When should I have my first Cervical Screening Test?
If you have never been screened before you will receive an invitation for your first Cervical Screening Test (CST) close to your 25th birthday.
Remember: Regardless of your age, if you have symptoms, such as pain, unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding or recent persistent unusual changes, you should see your doctor or healthcare provider straightaway.
I'm under 25 - why don't I need a Cervical Screening Test?
I don't need a CST because:
- cervical cancer is rare in women aged under 25;
- in most women under 25, the body will clear the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV causes over 90% of cervical cancer;
- the HPV vaccine is highly effective in protecting the body against the highest risk types of HPV; and
- treating common cervical changes which usually clear by themselves can increase the risk of pregnancy complications in the future.
When do I need my next Cervical Screening Test?
If you have had a Pap test before and the result was ‘abnormal’, you should continue to follow your healthcare provider's recommendations as you may need to re-screen earlier.
If you are under 25 and have never had a Pap test before, your first CST should be when you turn 25.
If you are 25 or over and:
- have never had a Pap test or CST before; or
- your last Pap test was two or more years ago,
you should book a CST with your GP now.
The National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) will send you a reminder when you are due, or you can contact them to find out when your CST is due.
Remember: Make sure you keep your details up to date by contacting the NCSR on 1800 627 701.
I'm vaccinated - do I still need to do the test?
All women who have ever been sexually active, vaccinated or not vaccinated for HPV, still need to have regular CSTs every 5 years from the age of 25.
The HPV vaccine stops you from getting an HPV infection from some types of HPV. There are several other types of HPV not covered by the vaccine that can cause cervical cancer.
There is a chance you might have caught the virus before you had the vaccine.
The vaccine does not treat HPV infections.