Cervical cancer screening tests available for self collection via NSW Health

Updated June 30 2022 - 3:24pm, first published 7:00am

Women and people with a cervix will soon be able to perform their own cervical screening test under changes to the National Cervical Screening Program.

NSW Health says Cervical cancer screening is now available with self-collection. Picture: Cancer Council
NSW Health says Cervical cancer screening is now available with self-collection. Picture: Cancer Council

The changes take effect from 1 July, and provide people with the choice to self-collect, or have their health professional perform the test for them.

Both options require a consultation with a health professional.

Clinical Nurse Consultant, Roslyn Hollis, from the Clarence Women's Health Service said the changes afforded people greater choice.

"More than 70 per cent of people diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer are under-screened or have never screened, so it's really important we provide more options to encourage screening," Ms Hollis said.

The five-yearly Cervical Screening Test detects the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause changes in the cells of the cervix.

"New evidence suggests that screening for HPV every five years is more effective and just as safe as the formerly used Pap test, which was done every 2 years," Ms Hollis said.

"We also now know a self-collected sample is as accurate as a clinician-collected sample which is why that option is now available - we know that it's safe and effective."

Women and people with a cervix aged between 25-74 years and who have ever been sexually active are eligible for free Cervical Screening Tests.

Anyone wanting to find out more about cervical screening self-collection should make an appointment with their health professional or contact their local Women's Health Nurse.

Northern NSW Local Health District has three Women's Health Clinical Nurse Consultants across the region, providing services to patients in all areas.

To make a free appointment with a women's health nurse at a clinic near you, phone:

  • Lismore and Richmond Valley: (02) 6620 2999
  • Grafton and Clarence Valley: (02) 6641 8200
  • Tweed / Byron: (07) 5506 7540

More information about cervical screening is also available at: