Cover image for National Cervical Screening Program – how to take your own sample for an HPV test


National Cervical Screening Program – How to take your own sample for an HPV test

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Publication date: 
September 2017
Last updated: 
29 April 2021
Publication type: 
Intended audience: 
General public

Most women have their cervical sample collected by their health professional. Some women who have never been screened or are not screened often enough may be more comfortable taking their own sample (called self-collection). Self-collection is not available for all women, and needs to be done in a health care setting and at a health professional’s request.

This procedure is for health professionals to give to women during a consultation. It shows the 6 steps for taking their own sample, with diagrams:

  1. Before starting
  2. Preparing the swab
  3. Inserting the swab
  4. Taking the sample
  5. Storing the sample
  6. Sending the sample