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Cervical Screening Services
(West Coast Region)

Where to go for cervical screening tests

It is important that you feel comfortable with the person who takes your smear.  You have a choice of where to go to have smears:

  • your local doctor or practice nurse
  • Family Planning
  • your sexual health service
  • community health services, community clinics (Well Womens, number thirtyseven)

Who should have cervical smear tests?

All women who have ever been sexually active should have regular cervical smear tests from the time they turn 20, until they turn 70. This includes:

  • all women who have been immunised against HPV
  • women who are single
  • lesbians
  • disabled women
  • women who have been through menopause
  • women who are no longer having sex

All women are advised to start having regular cervical smear tests at the age of 20.  Screening at a younger age is not recommended, even if a woman has had sex.  Screening from 20 onward is recommended because, in New Zealand, it is very rare for women under this age to develop cervical cancer.

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Some older women think they do not need to have cervical smear tests, especially if they are no longer sexually active.  However, there is still a chance that abnormal cells will appear in later life and progress to cancer.  If older women continue to have regular cervical smear tests until they turn 70, it is likely that any abnormal cells will be found and treated before they become cancer.

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Women who have never been sexually active do not need to have cervical smear tests.

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Women who have had a subtotal hysterectomy (in which the cervix is not removed) need to continue to have cervical smear tests.

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Women who have had a total hysterectomy (in which both the uterus and the cervix are removed) do not usually need to have smear tests unless advised to do so.  Reasons they need to continue to have smear tests might include:

  • a history of abnormal cell changes confirmed by biopsy
  • cervical abnormalities found at the time of surgery
  • having had the hysterectomy because of abnormal cells or cervical cancer.

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Women who are pregnant or have a new baby and are due for a cervical smear test should check with their midwife, specialist or lead maternity carer (LMC) before having a smear.  You can also ask your midwife or LMC to refer you to a smear taker, who will contact you.

Why would a woman need a smear more frequently than every three years?

A woman may be asked to have a smear at a shorter interval than three years if it is her first smear or she has not had a smear test for over five years.  This is to reduce the chances of any abnormal cells being missed. If a woman has an unsatisfactory smear or an abnormal result, she will be asked to come back sooner.  Her smear taker or doctor will advise her when to have her next smear or if she needs further checks.  Women who are treated for a high grade abnormality are advised to have a cervical smear test each year.

Some women who have a lowered immune system and may be at higher risk of developing cervical cell abnormalities may be advised to have cervical smear tests each year.

See your Health Professional if you have:

  • bleeding between menstrual periods
  • bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • bleeding after menstrual periods (menopause)
  • unusual discharge from your vagina
  • persistent pain in your pelvis
  • pain during sexual intercourse

These symptoms can occur for many reasons, but they should be checked out.

Not sure when your smear is due?

If not sure when your smear is due you can find out by contacting any of the following:

  • Lisa Teasdale

    West Coast NCSP Register Coordinator
    Phone: (03) 769-7853 please leave a message if the phone is unattended
    Email: Lisa Teasdale

  • National Cervical Screening Programme

    Ph: 0800 729 729

  • Or by asking your doctor or nurse

Key Contacts

NATION-WIDE

National Cervical Screening Programme

Phone 0800 729 729

WESTCOAST-WIDE

Your local doctor or practice nurse

Contact details for all medical centres available in the West Coast phone directory.

GREYMOUTH

NZ Family Planning

Phone: (03) 768-0895

Link Rooms, Grey Base Hospital

Well Woman's Centre

Phone: (03) 768-7192

52 Alexander Street, Greymouth

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West Coast NCSP

Phone: (03) 768-2799

Community Services, Grey Base Hospital

Phone or text:
Dickie Dewes 021 266-7401
Email:
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Tina Fox 027 471-8178
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WESTPORT

Sexual Health Clinic: Buller Hospital

Sexual Health Nurse: Lynley Pratt

Phone (03) 788-9030, ext 8756

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Buller Medical Services

Phone (03) 788-8230

number thirtyseven Potikohua Trust

Nurse smear taker Dickie Dewes:

37 Peel Street

Phone: (03) 789-6000

Email:
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Buller NCSP: Buller Hospital

Nurse smear taker Tina Fox:

Phone: (03) 788-9249

or text/phone 027 471-8178

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NCSP Ngakawau Community Clinic

Phone Ngakawau Health Centre:

(03) 788-5062

Documents

Achieving Equity in Cervical Screening

Following the introduction of the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) in 1990, a marked decrease in the incidence of cervical cancer occurred as the number of women having regular cervical smears increased....