Self-collection of vaginal samples

5 Apr 2018

The renewed National Cervical Screening Program includes the ability for healthcare providers to allow self-collection of vaginal samples as an option to encourage women over 30 years of age who have never had a screening test, or who are overdue for screening by at least two years, to participate in screening. Healthcare providers are encouraged to check with their pathology laboratory about the availability of self-collection testing before offering self-collection to eligible patients.

While the test is available, at this point in time only one pathology laboratory is currently accredited to perform tests on self-collected samples. Self-collected samples can only be tested by pathology laboratories accredited to perform the test.

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.

GPs can access the Department of Health’s self-collection resources (including a factsheet, instruction guide and quick reference guide) for further information.