New Zealand's cervical screening programme is changing from 1 November 2019. The content below reflects the changes to the programme.
A cervical screen every three years reduces your risk of developing cervical cancer by 90%.
Cervical screening is available at most Family Planning clinics.
WHO NEEDS TO BE SCREENED?
If you’re between 25 and 70 and you have a cervix, you need a cervical screen every three years. This means you also need to be screened even if you:
- have been immunised against HPV
- have been through menopause
- are no longer having sex
- have had a subtotal hysterectomy (when the cervix is not removed)
- are a lesbian
- are a transgender man
- have had an abnormal cervical screening test but no longer have a cervix
CERVICAL CANCER AND HPV
Cervical cancer is a one of the most preventable cancers, which is why it’s so important to get screened regularly.
Cervical screening every three years is the best way to check that your cervix is healthy or catch any changes in the cervical cells which can lead to cervical cancer. When found early, cervical cancer can be cured.
Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). This is a common virus that you can get through sexual contact.
If you are a New Zealand resident under 27, you are eligible for the free HPV vaccine. This protects you against some types of HPV – but you will still need to get screened.
GETTING YOUR CERVICAL SCREEN
Family Planning nurses and doctors are experts in cervical screening. They will make you feel welcome and do their best to make the experience quick and comfortable. They will also be able to answer any questions you have about cervical screening.
If you feel embarrassed, nervous or whakamā when you go to your appointment, tell the nurse or doctor. You are also welcome to bring a support person to your appointment, such as a friend, family member or your partner.
Your screening result will be sent to the National Cervical Screening Programme. Family Planning will send you a reminder for your next screening test, usually in three years.
Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.