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Cervical Screening 

This information is about cervical screening, an essential aspect of women's health care at various stages of life. Our objective is to provide clear and concise guidance to aid in understanding the importance of regular cervical screenings, identifying risk factors, and exploring effective strategies for cervical cancer prevention and early detection.

What is Cervical Screening? 

Cervical screening (previously known as a Pap smear) is a routine test used to detect HPV (human papilloma virus) on the cervix.  If HPV is detected, then the laboratory looks for abnormal cervical cell changes. We now know that HPV is responsible for 99% of cervical cancer. Vaccination against HPV at age 13, is now widespread especially in Western countries. This has had a massive impact on the number of women needed treatment and the number of deaths from cervical cancer. It's an essential part of preventive healthcare for women, aimed at detecting risk of cervical cancer in the pre-cancerous stage so that less invasive treatment can be arranged. 

Currently women are invited for their first screening test at age 25 and then every 5 years unless HPV or abnormal cells are detected. 

How It's Done:

Cervical screening can be done by your GP or can be self-collected with a swab in the vagina. However, if HPV is detected on a self-collected sample, then you will need a GP collected sample using a speculum. Sometimes speculum examination can be uncomfortable but have the advantage of giving the clinician more information, eg signs of infection, polyps, cysts, tenderness.  

Management of HPV or Abnormal Cells: 

Most HPV infection will be cleared naturally by the body's immune system. Smoking and some medications or medical conditions reduce immunity and mean that the virus is present for longer. If the HPV strain is higher risk (e.g 16 and 18), there are abnormal cells or the lower risk stains do not clear naturally over 2 –3 years, then women will be recommended to have a colposcopy. 

Colposcopy and Treatment: 

  • Colposcopy is a procedure to examine the cervix more closely using dye and a special magnifying instrument. Often a tiny biopsy is taken if there are any abnormal staining seen. 

  • Treatment for cervical abnormalities, such as cryotherapy, laser therapy, or surgery, may be recommended to remove or destroy abnormal cells. 


The prognosis for cervical abnormalities detected through screening is excellent, especially when detected and treated early.  

How Bondi Road Doctors Can Help: 

At Bondi Road Doctors, we offer all cervical screening and colposcopy services as needed. Our caring and experienced healthcare providers offer screening in a comfortable and confidential setting, ensuring you receive accurate and timely results. 

We understand that cervical screening can be a sensitive topic, and our team is here to provide compassionate support and guidance throughout the screening process. To ensure you receive the best care for cervical screening, our experienced doctors are available for appointments. The following doctors have a particular interest in the condition: 

Dr. Belinda Watson - Book Now 

Dr Catherine Insley - Book Now

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