Cervical screening self-collect option

13 October 2023

SA Pathology offers the choice to self-collect a cervical screening specimen to undergo testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Self-collections must be performed in a health care setting, either behind a privacy screen, or in a room or bathroom following our easy step-by-step instructions.  

Following collection, your doctor or health care provider will rinse the swab in a vial to complete the collection process.

Self-collection is available to patients aged 25 years or older who require HPV testing and have a cervix. Self-collection is not recommended for use in pregnant women, up to 3 months post-partum or in women who have had recent gynaecological surgery.

This service follows recent changes to the eligibility criteria for self-collected HPV specimens introduced following a review of the National Cervical Screening Program, including incorporating HPV testing and Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) to replace the Pap smear test.

Screening now tests for the presence of oncogenic HPV. If HPV is detected, further testing (LBC) will be performed on a clinician-collected specimen to determine if any cervical cell abnormalities are present. LBC is not able to be performed on self-collected HPV specimens.

SA Pathology has developed a convenient Self-Collect Cervical Screening kit (see below), available for clinicians to order using the Collection Consumables Order Form.

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