WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program update

WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program update

Thursday 7 February 2019

The self-collection component of the National Cervical Screening Program aims to improve participation in cervical screening by providing an alternative collection process for asymptomatic women who are under-screened or never screened. Currently, self-collection (i.e. collection of a vaginal swab for HPV testing) is available to all women residing in Australia who are at least 30 years old, are under-screened (four years or more since last Pap test) or have never been screened, and decline a practitioner collected specimen.


Self-collection is not suitable if a patient:


  • is pregnant, or thinks they might be pregnant
  • is symptomatic (experiencing unusual bleeding, pain or discharge), or
  • was exposed to diethyl-stilboestrol (DES) in utero.


All Western Australian pathology laboratories are collecting self-collected vaginal HPV samples from healthcare providers throughout WA. At the present time all self-collected samples are sent to Victorian Cytology Services (VCS) for processing.


WA laboratories are able to assist healthcare providers to promote self-collection by:


  • Providing healthcare providers with the correct flocked swab for the collection of a vaginal HPV sample
  • Transporting self-collected samples to VCS for processing
  • Providing WA healthcare providers with electronic results and recommendations for all self-collected samples


Screening samples collected from women residing in WA and sent to VCS for processing will be bulk billed.


GPs can access self-collection resources from the Department of Health website

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