Since December 2017, the Australian National Cervical Screening Program no longer recommends screening for women under 25 years of age.
To explore the attitudes of women under 25 years toward the changes.
In December 2019, women aged 18–24, residing in Australia, were recruited via the social media platform Instagram and Facebook. Descriptive analysis, t‐tests, χ2 tests and multivariable regressions were used to analyse the data.
Five hundred and twelve women completed a cross‐sectional web‐based survey. Women who were older (22–24: 3.1 vs 18–21: 2.8, P < 0.001), sexually active (3.1 vs 2.7, P = 0.003), vaccinated against human papillomavirus (mean = 3.2 vs 2.7, P = 0.005) or who had screened previously (mean = 3.5 vs 2.8, P < 0.001) had significantly greater knowledge about the current cervical screening practices. Older women (odds ratio (OR) = 0.85, 95% CI 0.80–0.95) or those who had screened previously (OR = 0.51, 95% CI 0.31–0.83) were less positive about the delayed start age of screening and five‐yearly screening (OR = 0.54, 95% CI 0.35–0.85). A significant association was determined between being sexually active (χ2(4) = 32.71, P < 0.001) and women who had screened previously (χ2(4) = 34.43, P < 0.001), with a greater intention to screen in the future. Regarding health information, 64.6% of women had never heard of the ‘National Cervical Screening Program’ website and 38.9% of the sample (n = 199/512) reported they had ‘rarely’ noticed any health information regarding cervical screening in the past 12 months. Conclusion Further work is required to rectify women’s knowledge of cervical screening to ensure women under 25 are aware of the screening guidelines and reduce the potential for over‐testing and overtreatment in this age group.