Where can I have a cervical screen?
Choosing a cervical screening provider
You can have your Cervical Screening Test (the Pap test replacement*) with your regular doctor or nurse. However, if you don’t feel comfortable with your family doctor performing your test, there’s no need to worry - you can see another doctor in your area, or visit a different doctor or nurse.
Remember, anything you discuss with a doctor or nurse will always be kept confidential.
Having your Cervical Screening Test with your regular doctor or nurse
If you want to have your regular doctor or nurse perform your Cervical Screening Test, check that they offer this service when you call to make an appointment.
Having your Cervical Screening Test with a different doctor or nurse
If you’d prefer not to see your family doctor for your Cervical Screening Test, you can have your screening with another doctor or nurse. For example:
- Women’s Health Nurse, through your Local Health District or Community Health Centre
- Women’s Health Centre
- Family Planning NSW
Some women prefer to have a female doctor perform their Cervical Screening Test, while for others it’s enough to know their male doctor is experienced and sensitive.
Choose the place that is convenient for you and where you are most comfortable. While you may feel awkward about having your Cervical Screening Test, it’s important to remember that doctors and nurses perform these tests all the time as part of their job.
Nervous about your first screen?
It’s normal to feel anxious before your first Cervical Screening Test, or to feel a little embarrassed about cervical screening.
Try to relax – the Cervical Screening Test is a very safe procedure, and your doctor or nurse is likely to have performed these tests many times as part of their everyday job. The test usually takes no more than a few minutes and being as relaxed as possible will help to reduce physical discomfort.
Remember, cervical screening is the most effective way of protecting yourself against cervical cancer, so those few minutes of discomfort could save your life.
If you’re having your first Cervical Screening Test, it might help to ask your doctor or nurse to explain what the test involves. You can also take a support person along with you to your appointment, e.g. a family member or friend.
*In December 2017, the cervical screening test replaced the Pap test as the method of screening women to prevent cervical cancer in Australia.
- Discover how cervical screening has changed