CervixCheck

Most woman age 21-69 who have ever had sexual contact should have a Pap test every 3 years.


  • Sexual contact includes skin-to-skin contact between two people of the oral, genital or rectal areas, or sex with sex toys.
  • Trans men and women may need regular Pap tests.
  • Make a Pap test appointment with your healthcare provider or find a Pap test clinic under How do I get checked? (below).

  • CervixCheck is Manitoba's organized cervical cancer screening program.

Did you know?

  • Over 80% of people will be infected with HPV in their lifetime.
  • HPV can cause abnormal changes on the cervix and cervical cancer.
  • 1 in 4 women will have an abnormal Pap test in her lifetime.
  • About 45 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in Manitoba.
  • Most people diagnosed with cervical cancer have not had a Pap test in five years or more.
  • Regular Pap tests can prevent up to 80% of cervical cancer.

 

News

If a Canada Post disruption occurs, we will:

  • not mail letters until Canada Post resumes regular service.
  • contact you by phone if you have an abnormal test result.

If you have received a home screening test from ColonCheck, click here.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Email Contact Us

What is the Pap test?

A Pap test is a test that can find changes on your cervix. During a Pap test, cells are taken from your cervix, and sent to a lab for assessment. In most cases, the cells are normal.

The Pap test does not check for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhea or chlamydia. Ask your doctor or nurse about testing for STIs.

To find out more about what to expect at a Pap test appointment, click English | French (pdf).

What is the cervix and where is it located?

The uterus (womb) is made up of two parts. The upper part is the place where a baby grows. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, joining the womb to the vagina. Abnormal changes (cervical dysplasia) may develop at this opening to the womb.

Why should I have Pap tests?

Sometimes abnormal changes caused by HPV can become cancerous. A Pap test can find these abnormal changes before they turn into cancer. Regular Pap tests with follow-up for abnormal changes can prevent most cancer of the cervix.

What are the benefits & potential harms of the Pap test?

Benefits

  • Regular Pap tests with follow-up for abnormal changes can prevent up to 80% of cervical cancer
  • Abnormal changes can be removed with procedures during colposcopyDetecting cancer at an early stage can result in simpler treatment, more treatment options, and less need for chemotherapy

Potential Harms

  • Discomfort or bleeding from the Pap test or colposcopy
  • Anxiety that may result from abnormal test results
  • Over-diagnosis of abnormal cell changes that would go away on their own
  • Problems with future pregnancies from some treatment during colposcopy

Who should get checked?

Most women age 21-69, who have ever been sexually active should have a regular Pap test every 3 years. Transgender men and women may also need regular Pap tests.

Sexual activity includes:

  • oral, genital, or rectal skin-to-skin contact, or
  • sex with sex toys.

Why every 3 years?

Having a Pap test every year or two offers very little added benefit over having a Pap test every 3 years and can expose women to unnecessary harms including:

  • discomfort or bleeding from the test,
  • anxiety that may result from abnormal test results,
  • over-diagnosis of abnormal cell changes that would go away on their own, and
  • problems with future pregnancies from some treatments during colposcopy.

Why are Pap tests not recommended under 21 years of age?

The harms of screening under 21 significantly outweigh the benefits.

  • Pap tests and follow-up procedures can expose young women to unnecessary risks including:
    • discomfort or bleeding from the tests,
    • anxiety that may result from abnormal test results,
    • over-diagnosis of abnormal cell changes that would go away on their own, and
    • problems with future pregnancies from some treatments during colposcopy.
  • Cervical cancer is very rare in women younger than 21 years of age.
    • Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted virus that can cause abnormal changes on the cervix and cervical cancer.
    • Most HPV infections in young women do not cause cancer and 90% of infections will disappear on their own within 2 years without any treatment.
    • When the infection does not go away, abnormal changes develop that may lead to cervical cancer. These changes take many years to happen.
    • Delaying screening to age 21 will still find abnormal changes - if they happen - before they turn into cancer.

Should I get checked if:

I have never had sexual contact? No
I have only had one partner? Yes
I am a lesbian or am a woman who has had sex with women? Yes
I am post-menopausal? Yes
I have no family history of cervical cancer? Yes
I have had a hysterectomy but I still have my cervix? Yes
I am under 21? No
I have had the HPV vaccine? Yes
I am a trans man who has a cervix? Yes
I am a trans woman who has had bottom surgery to create a cervix? Yes

If you have questions about your screening eligibility, talk to your health care provider or contact CervixCheck.

If you are not sure when you last had a Pap test, you can request your cervical cancer screening history from CervixCheck.

How do I get checked?

To book a Pap test:

  1. contact your regular health care provider, or
  2. enter your postal code in the search box below and click the search icon to find a Pap test clinic near you.

Call ahead to the site to ensure the clinic will meet your Pap test needs.

For help, call CervixCheck at 1-855-95-CHECK.

What is Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted virus. Over 80% of Canadians will have at least one HPV infection during their lifetime. HPV is spread easily through past or current sexual contact including oral, genital and/or rectal skin-to-skin contact, or sex with sex toys. Most people show no symptoms of the virus and their body’s immune system will clear the infection. There are more than 100 types of HPV. Some types of HPV cause genital warts. Others may cause abnormal cervical changes including cervical cancer. HPV has also been linked to cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth and throat. Most HPV infections will not progress to cancer.

Am I at risk for HPV?

If you have ever had sexual contact, you are at risk for an HPV infection. HPV passes from person-to-person through current or past sexual contact (including sexual abuse). Sexual contact includes:

  • oral, genital or rectal skin-to-skin contact, or
  • sex with sex toys.

HPV can pass to and from people of all genders. HPV infection usually has no signs or symptoms. Most HPV infections will disappear on their own (regress). Sometimes HPV can progress, over time, into abnormal cervical changes including cervical cancer. The Pap test can find abnormal cells before they progress into cancer.

Natural History

90% of HPV infections will regress on their own without any intervention within two years. In rare cases, HPV can persist, and over time, develop into cervical cancer.

What is the HPV vaccine?

The HPV vaccines provide protection against certain types of HPV that can cause genital warts, cervical cancer, as well as cancers of the mouth, throat, anus, vulva, vagina and penis. If an HPV vaccine is received before sexual contact, it will be almost 100% effective in preventing infection (see table below). Studies show that females who have already been sexually active may also benefit from receiving the vaccine.

There are three HPV vaccines approved for use in Canada:

  HPV types covered Protects against:
Cervarix 16, 18 Over 70% of cervical cancers
Gardasil 4 6, 11, 16, 18 Over 70% of cervical cancers & 90% of genital warts
Gardasil 9 6, 11, 16, 18,
31, 33, 45, 52, 58

90% of cervical cancers & 90% of genital warts

Females who receive the HPV vaccine still need to have regular Pap tests because the HPV vaccines do not protect against all HPV types that can cause cervical cancer.

It’s important to know that:

  • None of the HPV vaccines can be used to treat existing HPV infections.
  • Regular cervical cancer screening is important because HPV vaccines do not protect us from all types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer.
  • Click to learn more about the HPV vaccine English | French (pdf).

Results & Further Testing

Pap test results are usually available two weeks after the test. To find out your result:

  1. Contact the doctor or nurse who did your test, or
  2. Request a copy of your results from CervixCheck.

Although most Pap test results are normal (negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy), about one in 10 tests come back as abnormal (cervical dysplasia). Most of the time, abnormal changes will disappear on their own without any treatment. You may need a repeat Pap test, or in some cases, you may need colposcopy. Most women who have abnormal Pap test results and who have follow-up test and/or treatment will never get cancer of the cervix. Be sure to keep all appointments after an abnormal Pap test. For more information, see the following resources:

What you need to know about preventing cervical cancer (pdf) English | French

Colposcopy

Return to your doctor or nurse anytime you have abnormal vaginal bleeding (bleeding after menopause, persistent bleeding between periods or with sex), or abnormal vaginal discharge.

Colposcopy

A colposcopy examines the cervix and vagina using a low-powered magnifying instrument known as a colposcope. It is a follow-up test that allows a specially trained gynecologist to get a closer look at your cervix.

To learn more about colposcopy, please find:

What you need to know about preventing cervical cancer (pdf) English | French

Send Me My Pap Test Results

You can request a copy of your Pap test results in 1 of 3 ways:

1. Call CervixCheck toll-free at 1-855-95-CHECK. 
2. Email your request to CervixCheck@cancercare.mb.ca 
3. Complete the form below.

All Fields are required

Use your name as written on your Manitoba Health Services Card.

 

Birthdate
Address

We may need to contact you to clarify information you have provided. Please provide your email and phone number below.

 We will mail you a copy of your Pap test results within 1-2 weeks. The information you provide in this form will only be used to send your Pap test results. If you have questions, please contact your healthcare provider or CervixCheck.

All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.

Colposcopy: What every woman needs to know (video)

Choose a language:

Registry

What is the CervixCheck registry?

The registry is a confidential record of Pap tests and follow-up test results for all Manitobans. The registry contains:

  • your name, address and date of birth,
  • your Personal Health Identification Number (PHIN) and your Manitoba Medical Number (MHSC),
  • the date(s) of your test(s) and results,
  • the name, address and number of the health care provider who did your test(s), and
  • the name of the laboratory where each test was read.

Your personal health information is collected according to a regulation of the Public Health Act. For more information about your rights under the Personal Health Information Act, contact the Privacy Officer for CancerCare Manitoba at (204) 787-2266 or the Manitoba Health Legislative Unit at (204) 788-6612.

Who sees my personal information?

  • The health care provider who takes your Pap test,
  • The laboratory that reads your Pap test, and
  • CervixCheck staff involved in the registry.

Everyone who has access to your information is bound by the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) and has signed a pledge of confidentiality.

How does the registry help me?

The registry:

  • keeps a record of all Pap tests and follow-up tests done for you after April 27, 2001,
  • allows you to obtain your own test results,
  • sends your health care provider a letter if you fail to get recommended follow-up testing when an abnormality has been found,
  • sends you a letter if follow-up is outstanding for an abnormal Pap test or if you are overdue for a Pap test,
  • collects information to improve our understanding of cancer of the cervix, and
  • helps us to improve Pap test services across Manitoba.

Keeping records becomes important if you move or change health care providers, or if your health care provider moves or changes laboratories. When looking at test results, medical staff should take your past history into account.

Can I opt out of the registry?

Yes. To opt out, indicate this in the form below and return it to CervixCheck. We encourage you to discuss your decision with your health care provider or with CervixCheck.

Can I opt back into the registry?

Yes. To opt back in to the registry, please call our office. Your test results will be available to the registry from the date that you reenter the program.

To opt out of the Registry, please click on your preferred language: