How often should you do a Pap smear?
A Pap smear is a screening test to detect abnormal cells of the cervix to prevent the development of cervical cancer.
Screening for cervical cancer should begin at the age of 21, regardless of sexual activity.
Starting at the age of 21 and up to the age of 29, women should have a Pap smear performed every 3 years.
At age 30 or older, women should have a Pap smear performed every 3 years until age 65 or until they have a total hysterectomy (removal of uterus and cervix).
At age 30 or older, women may also undergo additional testing for high-risk types of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus).
If HPV testing and Pap smear results are normal, then screening intervals can be extended to 5 years.
You should always discuss with your physician which testing is appropriate for your cervical cancer screening.