21 Sep, 2023

Changes to Cervical Screening

Nurse with female patient

September 2023 saw a change to the way that cervical screening works in Aotearoa. Welcome to our series about cervical screening, including who needs to be screened, resources to find out more about the new test and why it’s important to get tested.

Changes To Cervical Screening In Aotearoa

There are now two choices for your cervical screening

  • an HPV test using a swab
  • or a cervical sample (previously known as a smear test)

The HPV test is a first screening test and can be a self-test or taken by a health professional. If you are confused about which test is best for you, contact your healthcare provider to get their advice and guidance.

HPV Screening Test

HPV Screening is now the new method for cervical screening. The HPV test uses a swab which can either be self-test or a healthcare professional can help. This test can be done privately either behind screens, in the bathroom or you may even be able to take the kit home. It is quick and easy to do, however is not suitable for everyone.

Cervical Sample

Depending on your screening history, you may need a cervical sample. A cervical sample (previously known as a smear test) is only administered by healthcare professionals. The test is done by a Doctor or Nurse at a clinic.

Free Screening Is Available If:

  • you are Māori or Pacific and aged between 25 and 69.
  • you hold a Community Services Card and aged between 25 and 69.
  • you are 30 years and over and have not had a test in the past 5 years, or have never had a screening test.
Group of women sitting in grass

HPV and Cervical Cancer

Find out more about the symptoms, risk and prevention of Cervical Cancer and HPV.

Your screening test results

Learn what your cervical screening test results mean. What happens if you need more testing.

Why have regular screening tests?

Read about why it’s so important to keep up with your Cervical screening schedule.

More Cervical screening resources