Cervical Screening Programme
Department of Health
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

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'I don't feel any discomfort, so I don't need any test.'

Most of the time, early abnormal cell change in your cervix or even in the early stage of cervical cancer does not cause any symptoms. Therefore, regular cervical cancer screening is necessary even if you have no symptoms.


'Cervical smear test is painful.'

You should not feel any pain on taking a cervical smear. Adequate sample would be obtained by gentle scraping of the surface of your cervix. You should relax by taking deep breaths and spread your legs apart during smear-taking so that your vagina could be opened easily.


'Cervical smear is only for those who are still sexually active. I haven't had sexual experience for a few years so I don't need a cervical smear.'

Cervical cancer may develop in a woman long after starting sexual activity. In fact, the risk of cervical cancer increases with age. Therefore, you need regular cervical cancer screening even if you have had sexual activity only once before or a long time ago. If you have never had a cervical smear, you should have one as soon as possible.


'I have reached menopause already, so I don't need cervical cancer screening anymore.'

Menopause does not protect a woman from cervical cancer. As long as you had sexual experience in the past, you should have regular cervical smears even if you have reached menopause.


'I have got human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, so I am protected and don’t need cervical cancer screening anymore.'

Even you have received human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, you still need regular cervical smears because HPV vaccination does not protect against the HPV types not included in the vaccine, nor against existing HPV infections.


'Cervical cancer only occurs in promiscuous women and therefore only they need cervical cancer screening.'

Cervical cancer can occur in any woman who has ever had sexual experience, even if she has had only one sexual partner. In fact, not all cervical cancer patients have history of promiscuity. Therefore you should receive regular cervical cancer screening if you have ever had sexual experience.

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