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Brought to you by Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora – Southern and WellSouth primary health network

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Cervical Screening

Regular cervical screening is your best protection against cervical cancer. Let’s talk about what cervical screening is, who needs to screen, when and where to get your screening done.  

Why go?

Cervical cancer usually develops slowly, so it’s easy for us to detect the presence of the HPV virus and treat any cell changes early.  

All women, trans or non-binary people who have a cervix aged between 25 and 69 who have been sexually active should have regular cervical screening tests. This includes if you: 

  • Are single 

  • Are immunised against HPV 

  • Only have sex with women 

  • Have a disability 

  • Are no longer having sex 

  • Have been through menopause 

If you have had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) check with your doctor or sample taker if you still need to be screened. 

Where can I go to get my cervical screening test? 

You can choose to go to your regular health care provider, or you may choose to go: 

  • Family planning 

  • A midwife 

  • Marae-based or other Māori health centres 

  • Any doctor or practise nurse 

  • Your sexual health service 

  • Community health services 

  • Screening support services 

You can request a female smear taker from most services. 

Advice for screening 

If you have your period - If you have your period, you can still have a screening test as long as the bleeding is not too heavy. This could affect the test result. 

During pregnancy - It is safe to have a screening test when you are pregnant, but it is best to discuss this with your healthcare provider. 

After pregnancy - After the birth of your baby, you should wait 6 weeks to have your screening test. This allows time for the changes from pregnancy to settle. 

After a screening test 

Your HPV result will usually come back within 1 to 2 weeks. It can be an anxious wait however, Most test results are normal — around 90% do not find HPV. If HPV is found, depending on which test you have and the type of HPV found, you may be recommended to have a cervical cell sample taken or you may be referred for colposcopy for treatment if needed. However, it is important to continue to have regular screening. 

To find out more about cervical screening please visit Cervical screening | Time to Screen - National Screening Unit or give us a call on 0800 729 729. 


Come along to our next Cervical Screening Clinics:

Come along to our next cervical screening events.


Women’s Health Out-Patients
Ground Floor, Dunedin Hospital
Saturday 16 March 2024 
8.00am – 1.00pm 

Cervical Screening would like to invite you to a free women’s health screening event. Cervical Screening is recommended for all women aged 25-69 who have ever been sexually active and is your best protection against cervical cancer.

This is a FREE clinic for all women who are five or more years overdue or never screened. 
The new HPV Self-Test will be available at this event. We look forward to you joining us.

For bookings and more information: 

Freephone: 0800 729 729 Monday to Friday 8am-4.30pm or email:


More information coming soon. 


More information coming soon. 



Your smear test results

Results usually take around 2 weeks. It can be an anxious wait, but remember that 90% of smear results come back clear, and even when they don’t, it can just mean there is something to re-check.

Abnormal Results

Have your results come back as ‘abnormal’? This can be worrying, but you now have a chance to deal with cell changes before they become serious. Women treated for abnormal cells are unlikely to develop cervical cancer in the future.

Cervical Screening Start Age Changing to 25

The cervical screening start age is changing from 20 to 25 on 1 November 2019.

What you need to know:

  • Women new to cervical screening will be screened from the age of 25 instead of 20
  • Women already in the screening programme who are under 25 will continue to be recalled as normal

To find out more about the age change or cervical screening please visit