Cervical Smears

Why should you have cervical smear tests?

Research indicates that all females who have ever been sexually active and are between the ages of 25 and 70 years of age should have a cervical smear test. A year after the first smear women should have another and thereafter routinely every three years. This test detects abnormal cells which, if left untreated, could become cervical cancer. Very often these cells become abnormal by a form of human papillomavirus (HPV) which is passed on during sexual activity. Regular tests and treatment as indicated, 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. These questions will be asked by your health practitioner when you come for your appointment.

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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