Monday, September 2, 2013
Each year, Family Planning nurses help over 20,000 women have a very simple test that could save their lives.
Our national nurse advisor Rose Stewart says the cervical smear test is one of the best preventive health measures a woman can make.
“We know many women don't like having a smear test – they're embarrassed, uncertain about what to do – or don't think they need to have a test.
“We want to make it as easy and comfortable as possible for women to have smears. When you come to a Family Planning clinic your nurse will tell you about the process and what to do. Our nurses are professionals and will never make you feel judged or embarrassed.”
Having regular smears can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer by 90%. All women who have ever been sexually active should have a cervical smear test every three years between the ages of 20 and 70.
Women who have been immunised against the human papillomavirus (HPV) still need to have regular smears every three years too. The HPV vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.
Cost shouldn't be a barrier to having a cervical smear that could save your life. If you are under 22, a cervical smear at a Family Planning Clinic is free. If you have a Community Services Card, your visit and smear will cost $5 and for all other New Zealand residents, the cost of a visit and a smear is $27.00.
National Screening Unit www.nsu.org.nz
Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.