Self-collection FAQs

Self-collection is now an option for all participants in routine cervical screening.

How do I collect the sample?

The self-collected test is taken by inserting a soft swab into your vagina and rotating the swab for about 10 seconds. The swab takes a sample of cells from the vagina, which will be tested for the presence of HPV.

Is it as accurate as a test done by my doctor?

Self-collection is just as sensitive for detecting HPV and Pre-Cancer as a Cervical Screening Test taken by your doctor or nurse.

Where should I do the test?

A self-collected test is still done under the guidance of a healthcare provider.  It is usually done at the doctor’s or other health setting, and can be taken in private, often behind a screen or in the bathroom.

What if I can't do it myself?

You can also ask your healthcare provider for help to take the test, if you think you would have difficulty taking a vaginal sample yourself.

What happens if the test comes back positive?

If HPV is found on your self-collected test, your doctor or nurse will explain your results and support you to undertake any further testing required.

Can everyone do self-collection?

All participants in routine cervical screening are now eligible for the self-collection option. Self-collection is not appropriate for some people, for example, those with symptoms or who have been treated for previous abnormalities.

To find out more, speak to your doctor or healthcare provider.

Cervical cancer starts in the cervix, which connects the uterus to the vagina. Find out more about what causes it, and how it can be prevented.

Regular cervical screening is the best way to prevent cervical cancer in all women and people with a cervix

Self-collection is another option that is now available for cervical screening, and involves taking your own swab from the vagina. Find out more about self-collection here

ACPCC is a not-for-profit organisation and only charges patients the Medicare Schedule fee for pathology services, with only a small gap amount payable. 

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