Women's Health Services
Specialist in Women's Health & Antenatal Care & Shared Care
A Well Woman check will include:
- The new Cervical Screening Test (see below for more information), a quick and simple test that checks for infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes 99%of all cervical cancers. All women who have ever been sexually active should have a cervical screening test between ages 25-74yrs. Your doctor can explain the procedure in more detail if this is your first cervical screening test.
- Contraceptive advice
- Menopause advice
- Pre pregnancy counselling
The new Cervical Screening Test
From 1st December, 2017 the Pap test has been replaced with the new Cervical Screening Test. Women who have ever been sexually active should have a cervical screening test every 5 years, starting at age 25 years.
Women who are already having Pap tests should have their first cervical screening test when their next pap test would have fallen due (this is usually 2 years after the most recent Pap test for those women with a normal screening history).
Women will be invited to start cervical screening at age 25years and continue until age 74years.
Your GP or nurse will still perform a vaginal examination and collect a cervical sample, but the sample is liquid based and tests for human papilloma virus (HPV) which is responsible for 99% of cervical cancers.
I’ve had the HPV vaccine. Do I still need to have the Cervical Screening Test?
Yes. The HPV vaccine protects against some high-risk types of HPV but not all types.
Why test every 5 years?
Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is easily transmitted via skin contact during sexual activity. It is extremely common in men and women who have ever been sexually active, with most people being infected with at least one type of HPV at some point in their life. While HPV infections are normally cleared by the body’s own immune system, sometimes they cause cervical cells to become abnormal. The body is usually able to clear the infection and the abnormal cells, but in some cases this doesn’t happen and the abnormal cells develop into cervical cancer. The time from HPV infection to cervical cancer is usually 10-15years.
What about cervical cancer not caused by HPV?
More than 99% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV. There is another, rare type of cancer – neuroendocrine or small cell cancer that is unable to be detected by either the Pap test or the cervical screening test.
Our doctors provide shared obstetric care with the Ante-natal clinic at John Hunter Hospital (JHH).
During pregnancy you should not just only take good care of your own health but also go for regular check-ups with your doctor. Antenatal care is important because it makes sure that both you and your baby are fit and well.