The two yearly Pap test for women aged 18 to 69 has changed to a five yearly human papillomavirus (HPV) test for women aged 25 to 74.
You will be due for the first Cervical Screening Test two years after your last Pap test.
The changes from December 1st include:
- The Pap smear has been replaced with the more accurate Cervical Screening Test.
- The time between tests has changed from two to five years.
- The age at which screening starts has increased from 18 years to 25 years.
- Women aged 70 to 74 years will be invited to have an exit test.
- Women will be invited when they are due to participate via the National Cancer Screening Register.
Women of any age who have symptoms such as unusual bleeding, discharge and pain should see their health care professional immediately.
Women who have been vaccinated against HPV (those that have received Gardisil or Cervarix vaccines) still require cervical screening as the HPV vaccine does not protect against all the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.
If you have any questions about these changes or when your next test is due, please make an appointment with your NP or GP.