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Understanding your cervical screening results

Te mārama ki ō hua whakamātautau waha kōpū

A diagram showing the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and vaginaCervical screening checks for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) using a swab or cervical sample (previously called a smear).

HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that usually clears up by itself. But it can sometimes cause cervical cancer.

A cervical sample also find early changes to the cells of your cervix that can be treated before they progress to cervical cancer.

HPV test results

If your test finds HPV, it doesn't mean you have cervical cancer.

The results could say one of these options:

Cervical sample (smear) test results

A normal result will say: Negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy.

An abnormal result could say any one of these three options:

Terms used

ASC-US: This is very slightly abnormal. This means there are very minor changes to the cells on the surface of your cervix.

LSIL: This means there are minor changes to the cells on your cervix.

HSIL: This means there are more serious changes to your cervix.

Next steps

If you have an abnormal result, the report will have a comment suggesting what the next steps should be.

The healthcare provider who took your test should contact you about this.

If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider or general practice team.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed October 2022. Last updated September 2023.

Sources

See also:

Follow up after an abnormal cervical screening result

Page reference: 269154

Review key: HIUTR-269145