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If you are having sex, you should get a pap smear.

This is also called a cervical screening test.

A pap smear

A pap smear checks for signs of:

  • an infection
  • cancer.

During the pap smear, you will need to lie down and take off your underwear.

The nurse or doctor will put a small tool into your vagina and take a sample.

A woman lying on a bed in a doctor’s office. There is a sheet over her stomach and legs. There is a doctor standing next to her

They will then send the sample for testing.

You will usually find out the paper smear results in a few weeks.

If your results are normal, you might not need to have another test for 5 years.

Results document with a test tube

Download the Being a Healthy Woman: Having a Pap Test fact sheet (PDF) to learn more about pap smears.


You can also go to the Health Direct: Cervical Screening test website.

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