The National Cervical Screening Program underwent a significant update in 2017, transitioning from a biennial test, known as the Pap Smear, to a five-yearly screening. This advanced screening method now focuses on detecting various strains of the HPV virus, which can cause abnormalities in cervical cells. The routine procedure is used to identify early signs of cervical cancer or precancerous conditions, allowing for timely intervention and prevention.

Receiving news of an abnormal CST can be unsettling, but it's crucial to understand that abnormal results do not necessarily mean cancer. Our experienced team is here to guide you through the interpretation of these results and discuss the appropriate next steps.

If your Cervical Screening Test (CST) indicates the presence of HPV types 16 or 18, a more thorough examination called a colposcopy is necessary. For cases showing non-16/18 HPV with normal cells, a colposcopy is typically required only if the condition persists for three consecutive years.

During a colposcopy, which is similar to a Pap Smear, your gynaecologist uses a specialised lens called a colposcope and a vinegar solution to highlight abnormal cells. If abnormalities are identified, they can be further categorized as low-grade or high-grade. In instances of uncertainty or suspicion of high-grade abnormalities, a small biopsy may be taken for confirmation.

While most cervical abnormalities resolve on their own, regular examinations through CST or colposcopy are crucial to prevent progression to high-grade abnormalities. If a high-grade abnormality is confirmed, a LLETZ procedure is often recommended, performed as a day surgery in collaboration with our partner hospitals.

Colposcopies and biopsies are generally well-tolerated, allowing women to resume normal activities immediately afterward.

Preventive measures, such as vaccination against HPV and regular screenings, are essential for maintaining your reproductive health. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the information and resources needed to make informed decisions about your well-being.

If you've received news of an abnormal CST or if you have concerns about your gynaecological health, don't hesitate to reach out to us. East Obstetrics + Gynaecology is here to support you through every step of your health journey. Call us on 08 7008 0238 to schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns and develop a plan for optimal reproductive health.