Who should get a Cervical Screening Test

Cervical screening is important. Find out if you’re eligible for the program and what to do if you're not.

Should you have a Cervical Screening Test?

You are eligible for a subsidised Cervical Screening Test if you are:

  • aged between 25 and 74

  • sexually active or ever have been
  • a woman or person with a cervix.

It makes no difference if you:

  • are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight
  • have had the HPV vaccination or not
  • are no longer sexually active
  • have been through menopause
  • have been with only one sexual partner
  • have experienced traditional cutting or circumcision
  • have had a baby
  • are pregnant (ensure to let your health care professional know).

If you have had a full or partial hysterectomy, please check with your doctor about screening.

You are eligible to have your first test when you turn 25 or 2 years after your last Pap test. Cervical screening occurs every 5 years after that.

If you're outside the target age range

Under 25

Routine screening starts at age 25. There’s no need to have a cervical screen before then. This is because there are common infections or abnormalities that usually go away by themselves before you're 25. Cervical cancer is also rare in this age group. Starting at age 25 means we prevent a lot of unnecessary tests and treatment.

Of course, if you’ve already had a test and had an abnormal result, keep following your doctor’s advice. If you have any of the symptoms below, talk to your doctor, nurse or health worker.

75 or over

If you’re 75 or over you can still ask to have a subsidised Cervical Screening Test – talk to your doctor, nurse or health worker.

Talk to your doctor, nurse or health worker

See your doctor, nurse or health worker as soon as possible if you:

  • have abnormal vaginal bleeding or unusual discharge
  • experience pain during sex
  • have an unexplained, persistent vaginal discharge.
Last updated: 
25 November 2020

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