How to redesign the vaginal speculum

Guardian, Tue 24 Apr 2018 

Cervical screening is at its lowest rate in 19 years. The Jade Goody effect, named for the increase in women attending screening after the reality TV star died of the disease in 2009, has disappeared. In 2015 and 2016, only 72.7% of eligible women went to a screening when invited. That doesn’t sound too bad, but it means 1.2 million women didn’t attend.

Design Agency ‘Frog’ Redesigns The Dreaded Gynecology Exam

co.design

Cold metal. Eerie clicking sound. Torturous duck-billed shape. Yes, I’m talking about the speculum, the anxiety-inducing device that doctors use to check  vaginal health. Despite its status as an instrument of discomfort and its dark history–involving a doctor who experimented on slave women – the speculum remains to this day one of the centerpieces of the often dreaded annual pelvic exam.

A team of four designers at the global design agency Frog is on a mission to redesign it – and reimagine what it means to go to the gynecologist in the first place.

Changes to cervical screening in Australia, new guidelines

Cancer Screening, Australian Government,  Page last updated: 01 March 2017

Based on new evidence and better technology, the National Cervical Screening Program will change from 1 December 2017 to improve early detection and save more lives.

The Renewal of the National Cervical Screening Program will be implemented on 1 December 2017.  Until the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is implemented, our world-class cervical cancer screening program will continue.

From 1 December 2017, the two yearly Pap test for women aged 18 to 69 will change to a five-yearly human papillomavirus (HPV) test for women aged 25 to 74. Women will be due for the first Cervical Screening Test two years after their last Pap test.

The changes include:

• women will be invited when they are due to participate via the National Cancer Screening Register

• the Pap smear will be replaced with the more accurate Cervical Screening Test

• the time between tests will change from two to five years

• the age at which screening starts will increase from 18 years to 25 years

• women aged 70 to 74 years will be invited to have an exit test

Until the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is implemented, women aged between 18 and 69 years who have ever been sexually active should continue to have a Pap test when due.

  • You can find the new guidelines here 

Five myths about the new cervical screening program that refuse to die

The Conversation, March 10, 2017 6.23am AEDT

The online petition against changes to Australia’s cervical cancer screening program has revealed more than 70,000 people (most of whom we could assume are women) are deeply concerned about what the upcoming changes mean.

Let’s have a look at some common misconceptions and concerns about changes to the cervical cancer screening program.

Read more here 

The end of the Pap smear is good news for women

  • by Dr Deborah Bateson, Medical Director, Family Planning NSW
  • Published in Sydney Morning Herald, February 28 2017

The government announced on Monday the end date for the Pap smear. On December 1, it will be superseded by a new test for the human papilloma virus (HPV).

An online campaign aimed at persuading Malcolm Turnbull to stop this change has gained traction, but while the campaign may be well-intentioned, it is also misinformed. There are many reasons, based on science as well as equity, why the new program should be supported.

Read more here 

Sexual Health & Cervix Screening Update Day (for doctors, nurses, midwives and other health & community workers)

SHine SA, January 2017

The 2017 Sexual Health & Cervix Screening Update Day is presented by SHine SA and South Australian Cervix Screening Program.

This annual event is open to doctors, nurses and midwives and any other interested health and community workers.

The renewed cervical screening guidelines are to be implemented from 1 May 2017. The Update Day has been timed to coincide with the release of resources around these changes and these resources will be available on the day.

The full event program will cover:

  • Cervix screening – statistics, clinical guidelines and strategies
  • Biomedical options for HIV prevention
  • STIs and HIV in Aboriginal communities
  • Providing culturally appropriate services
  • Syphilis: An update on the great mimicker
  • Who to test and how to treat: Mycoplasma genitalium, rectal testing in women and more…
  • Emergency contraception
  • Long Acting Reversible Contraception

We are pleased to feature speakers from SA Cervix Screening Program, SAHMRI, Clinic 275, O’Brien Street General Practice, SAMESH and SHine SA for this event.

(Please see below to download the full program as a PDF)

Course Dates

Sexual Health & Cervix Screening Update Day

Date: 31/03/2017

Course Cost

$150 per person; Student discounted rate: $135 (10% discount)Lunch, morning tea and afternoon tea will be provided.

WHEN
Friday 31 March 2017
8:30 am – 5:30 pm

WHERE
Crowne Plaza, Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide

Course Outline

Enrolment

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points will be available for this event.