Cervical Smears

Why should you have cervical smear tests?

Research indicates that all sexually active females between the ages of 25 and 70 should have a cervical smear test. A year after the first smear women should have another and thereafter every three years. This test detects abnormal cells which, if left untreated, could become cervical cancer. Very often these cells are made abnormal by a human papillomavirus (HPV) which is passed on by men during intercourse. Regular tests and treatment reduces the likelihood of this sort of cancer by around 90%.

Who should have cervical smear tests?

All women who have ever been sexually active should have regular cervical smear tests from the time they turn 25 until they turn 70. This includes:

• all women who have been immunised against HPV

• women who are currently single

• women with a female partner

• women who have been through menopause

• women who are no longer having sex

women should see a doctor if they have any unexpected vaginal bleeding, unusual bladder or bowel or low pelvic symptoms

For further information on cervical screening visit the National Screening unit at http://www.nsu.govt.nz/current-nsu-programmes/national-cervical-screening-programme.aspx

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