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Cervical screening

Te whakamātau waha kōpū

On September 12, the main test for cervical screening changed to a human papillomavirus (HPV) test.  

This means that for most people, a vaginal swab will be taken and tested for HPV. This can be done by a nurse or doctor, or you can choose to take the sample yourself. 

For most people, HPV screening will replace the test (sometimes called a smear test) where a doctor or nurse took a cell sample from your cervix.   
If you’re between 25 and 69 and you have a cervix, you need to have an HPV screen every five years. Having a screen reduces your risk of developing cervical cancer. 

Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is one of the most preventable of all cancers. 

If HPV is found in your sample, it doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. Most HPV infections clear up by themselves. If the virus is found, you will be checked to see if there are any cell changes on your cervix. 

Cervical screening is free for Māori, Pacific people and those who have never been screened or are more than five years overdue for their screening. Find out how much a cervical screening test will cost at Family Planning.  

Your screening result will be sent to the National Cervical Screening Programme. If you do not know when you are next due for your cervical screen, you can call the NCSP free on 0800 729 729.

If you have your cervical screen or HPV screening done at Family Planning will send you a reminder when your next screening test is due. 

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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