Anxious about your Pap test?
If you’re having a Pap test for the first time it may help to discuss the test with your doctor, nurse, community health or Aboriginal health worker who will explain the quick and simple process with you.
You may choose to book an appointment with a doctor or nurse to explain what the Pap test involves, especially if it’s your first test, and return for the test when you feel comfortable about having the test. If you’re feeling anxious, you can take a family member or friend with you.
Who performs the test?
Your provider will explain that you don’t have to see a specialist like a gynaecologist, and no drugs or anaesthetics are required.
The Pap test can be done by your doctor in his or her consulting rooms or, if you prefer, by a women's health worker in a community or women’s health centre or Family Planning clinic or by an Aboriginal health worker at an Aboriginal Medical Service. They are very experienced and will help you during the process.
If your own doctor doesn’t do Pap tests, ask for the names of local doctors or other health providers who can help you. Alternatively, you may like to use our Pap test provider directory to help you find a doctor or nurse who does perform them. Then, choose the health provider and location that suit you best and where you’ll feel most comfortable.
Do you need an interpreter?
Interpreters are available to help you make the appointment and also during your test. If you would like the help of an interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50. The interpreter doesn’t have to be in the room with you during the test, but can sit outside the room and explain what’s happening by phone.
While some women find a Pap test uncomfortable, the knowledge that the test provides about your health makes up for that brief discomfort.