What is the right contraception for me?
You have the right to access contraception and control your fertility. Using contraception reduces your risk of getting pregnant when you have sex. There are many contraception options for you to consider, your GP can discuss with you which option may be best, popular options include:
- contraceptive implant
- intra uterine device (IUD)
- DMPA Injection
- Oral contraceptive pills
- Emergency contraceptive pill
How often should I get tested for STD's?
STI’s are infections that are commonly spread by close sexual contact. Whilst most usually spread by intercourse some can be spread through contaminated blood and tissues breastfeeding or childbirth. It’s important to get regularly tested for STI’s if sexually active as some infections are silent meaning you can have an infection without symptoms. Testing may be performed on a urine sample, a swab or a blood sample.
If you have had sex and are under 30, have had a change in sexual partner or if you are a male who has sex with other males, it is recommended that you get tested once a year or more. Speak to your doctor or nurse to check how regularly you should be tested
How often do I need a cervical screening test and why?
A more accurate Cervical Screening Test has replaced the Pap test in Australia. Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, and routine screening is your best protection against cervical cancer.
The CST is more effective than the Pap test at preventing cervical cancers, because it detects the human papillomavirus (HPV), whereas the Pap test looked for cell changes in the cervix.
HPV is a common infection that can cause cervical cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer. HPV is so common that many people have it at some point in their lives and never know it as there are usually no symptoms. There are many types of HPV and your body's immune system will naturally clear most types within one to two years.
The test is a simple procedure to check the health of your cervix, it is the same procedure as the Pap test, but tests for HPV.
Since the CST is more effective at preventing cervical cancers, it is just as safe to be done every 5 years instead of every 2. For most women aged 25-74, your first Cervical Screening Test is due at the age of 25 or two years after your last Pap test. After that, you will only need to have the test every five years if your result is normal. If you are due for testing, contact the clinic to book an appointment.
See your healthcare provider as soon as possible if at any age you have symptoms such as:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Discharge or
- Pain during sex
Why is Breast Screening necessary?
For most people aged 50 to 74, having a breast screen is a good option and is something we highly recommend especially if there is a history of breast cancer in the family.
More than 75% of breast cancers occur in women over 50 and regular breast screens are the best way to find breast cancer early.
Women and trans and gender diverse (TGD) people aged 40 to 49 who do not have breast symptoms are eligible for free breast screens with Breast Screen Victoria every 2 years.
Women and TGD people aged 50 to 74 are invited for a free breast screen every two years. This is because the evidence of benefit is strongest in this age group.
Women and TGD people under 40 and over 74 are encouraged to talk to their doctor about whether breast screening is right for them.
See your doctor if you have:
- An unusual change in your breast such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge
- A strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer
- Had breast cancer within the past 5 years