Be Seen to be Screened: Cervical Screening for Aotearoa

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Uncategorized

To schedule your cervical screen with us call reception at PH 09 418 3832

Human papillomavirus or HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer. HPV is often contracted during sexual activity and is thought to be the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. A staggering 80% of people who have been sexually active will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives. With regular cervical screening, any changes to your cervix can be detected before they become cancers. For more information regarding HPV, visit the HPV Project website and/or the Time to Screen website.

Cervical screens are usually done in 3 year intervals but certain factors may necessitate more frequent tests which include but are not limited to:

  • having your second test (should be done 1 year after your first test)
  • your last test being 5 or more years ago
  • any and all indications of cell changes that needs further investigations
  • having had treatment to remove abnormal cells
  • having a weakened or compromised immune system
  • being on certain prescription drugs such as anti-rejection medications
  • any and all unusual bleeding

Cervical screens are easily accessible and can be done at multiple healthcare providers and community health services such as marae health centers and Pacific health centers.

Cervical screening tests are quick and simple which takes around 10-15 minutes to do.

According to recent studies women from Māori, Pasifika and Asian backgrounds have the lowest rate of cervical screening in Aotearoa. This lower rate of testing puts members of these communities at higher a risk of developing complications and cervical cancer. Please note that further resources can be found for Māori and Pasifika communities regarding cervical screening. For many first time patients it could be a daunting task to have your first cervical screen test so the following are some tips that may put you at ease:

  • bring a support person with you or even go with whānau and friends to have your tests done together
  • research by watching and reading testimonials from members of the community regarding cervical screening like the ones on this page
  • have your tests done with healthcare providers or community health services that you trust and feel comfortable in
  • feel free to ask any and all questions and bring up any concerns with your healthcare providers before, during and after the test
  • request to have your test administered by a female provider
  • request to have your test administered by someone from the same culture as you

For more comprehensive information and resources, please visit the Time to Screen brochure page.

If you want to book your cervical screening with Onewa Doctors please call reception at PH 09 418 3832.