For some reason, society is very weird when it comes to talking about sexual health. I mean, you’re missing out on very important conversations people! It’s these chats with friends that maybe help you realise that something may not be quite right with your body health wise.
So, I have tasked it upon myself to educate, and there is something big that you need to know. The dreaded pap smear is being phased out!
Not to fear, there is something replacing it and it’s called the “Cervical Screening Test”.
The Department of Health explains the reason behind the change as, “the new Cervical Screening Test detects human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which is the first step in developing cervical cancer.”
“While the current Pap test can detect abnormal cell changes, the new Cervical Screening Test will detect the HPV infection that can cause the abnormal cell changes, prior to the development of cancer.”
So, basically the test will be done the same way, it just tests for something a bit different and is to be done every five years instead of every two.
However, anyone with a vagina who falls into the bracket of having to have a pap smear, are to start this new scheme two years after their last pap test. With 43% of Aussie women not screening enough, it begs the question will this bigger period between screens make women ensure they undergo the Cervical Screening Test?
Now, I know some of you may be thinking, “But I had the HPV vaccine! Why do I need to go through this?”
Well, unfortunately the HPV vaccine doesn’t protect against all strains of HPV, so you still need to get the Cervical Screening Test to be in the clear.
The Cervical Screening Test kicks off from May 1st 2017.