All women who have ever been sexually active should have regular cervical smear tests every three years between the ages of 20 and 70. This includes women who have been immunised against HPV. This test detects abnormal cells which, if left untreated, could become cervical cancer. Very often these cells are made abnormal by a human papillomavirus (HPV) which is a sexually transmitted virus. Regular tests and treatment reduces the likelihood of this sort of cancer by around 90%.
For more information about cervical smear tests click on the link to the National Screening Unit website http://www.nsu.govt.nz/current-nsu-programmes/national-cervical-screening-programme.aspx
We have a monthly nurse-led smear clinic at Onehunga where screening smears are free. Screening smears done by doctors are free for "high needs" women (i.e. Maori, Pacific Island and those living in certain areas), but there is a charge for non-high needs women and if the smear is done as part of a consultation.