Self-collection for the Cervical Screening Test
All cervical screening participants now have the choice to self-collect their own Cervical Screening Test sample. A self-collected sample is taken from the vagina and is checked for human papillomavirus (HPV) – a common infection that causes almost all cervical cancers.
Yes, it’s that easy
Prevention is in your hands
If you are eligible and want to collect your own sample, your healthcare provider will give you a swab and instructions.
A self-collected sample is taken from the vagina so you don’t need to worry about reaching the cervix or ‘getting the right spot’. All you need to do is insert a swab a few centimetres into your vagina and rotate it for 20 to 30 seconds.
You will be given a private space, such as a bathroom, to collect your sample.
Who is eligible for self-collection?
Self-collection is available to all people eligible for a Cervical Screening Test – that is people who:
- are aged between 25 and 74
- have had any type of sexual contact
- are a woman / person with a cervix
- are due or overdue for routine cervical screening
When due, you should get a Cervical Screening Test even if you:
- have had the HPV vaccine
- are not currently or are no longer sexually active
- have had the same partner for a long time or only had one partner
- are gay, lesbian, or bisexual,
- are transgender or non-binary with a cervix
- are pregnant
- have had a baby
- have been through menopause
- feel healthy and have no symptoms.
Because self-collection looks for HPV only – not cervical cell abnormalities – it is generally not appropriate for people who have symptoms of cervical cancer or if you are experiencing unusual bleeding, pain or discharge.
You should speak to your doctor about whether self-collect is the right option for you.