It involves:

  • Reviewing your gynaecological history, general medical health and family history of disease (such as a history of ovarian or breast cancer, or osteoporosis).
  • National Cervical Screening Program (Replacement of Pap Smear Test) – the new test is a simple procedure to check the health of the cervix, once every five years. Read more by scrolling below. 
  • Pelvic Examination – using a speculum, we examine your vagina and cervix. This involves palpating (feeling) the pelvic organs to check for any problems.
  • Infection screen – looking for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as you can sometimes have no symptoms, but these could cause problems with fertility or pelvic pain.
  • Pelvic ultrasound – if required, this provides information about your pelvic organs (particularly your ovaries and uterus).
  • Breast examination may also be performed.

We also can refer you to specialist services for

  • Breast screening – mammogram and ultrasound
  • Bone density screening
  • Blood tests as required

When you book your appointment, please avoid making it for when you are menstruating, as we cannot perform a thorough evaluation if you are bleeding.

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National Cervical Screening Test – What you need to know

• New program – from 1 December 2017 the Pap Test program for preventing cervical cancer has changed to a new Cervical Screening Test.

• HPV testing – the new test is a simple procedure to check the health of the cervix. Having the new test will feel the same as having the Pap test. It still requires a vaginal speculum examination. However, the laboratory will test for the human papilloma virus (HPV) rather than looking for cervical cell changes, as the first line test.

• More accurate – The testing is being changed as it is thought to be more accurate for the prevention of cervical cancer, expecting to protect up to 30% more women. HPV is important as if it is not cleared it can cause cervical cell changes, which in very rare cases may develop into a cancer. This process usually takes 10-15 years.

• When? – Women (25-74 years) who have previously had a normal Pap test, will be invited to have the new Cervical screening test 2 years after their last pap smear. Any woman turning 25 should attend for testing. Any woman over 25 years who has never had a pap smear should also attend for testing. Even if you have had the HPV vaccine you still require cervical testing. Any symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding (particularly after sexual intercourse), pelvic pain or abnormal vaginal discharge require medical review.

• How often? – The good news is that if you have normal Cervical Screening Test results you will only need to have your next test in five years, instead of every two years.

For more information please visit the Australian Government Department of Health website:
www.cancerscreening.gov.au/cervical

 

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