The world of womanhood can be a confusing place. We often hear conflicting advice on when and what we should be doing for our health. On top of that, when researching, much of the medical jargon can be difficult to understand. One particular issue that has been thrown around is how often should women be getting a Pap smear and when should they start?
Growing evidence shows a possible overuse of Pap smears and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. An advisory board of specialists and experts reviewed the health data and established new recommendations about who should receive a Pap and/or HPV test and how frequently they should be getting them.
* The guidelines are also valid for women who have been vaccinated against HPV.
* Pap every 3 years is acceptable for 30-65 age range if results are negative.
Screenings should stop once a woman reaches the age of 66 if she has not been treated for moderate dysplasia (abnormal cells on the cervix) and the last two screenings were negative. Women who have had a hysterectomy do not need a Pap or HPV testing unless they have been treated for dysplasia.
While it is a huge relief knowing that you no longer have to dread an annual pap smear, it is important to note that all women should receive an annual female wellness exam to evaluate a woman’s overall health. For more information, talk to your gynecologist. For help finding a doctor, visit: doctors.bannerhealth.com.