There have been a lot of news reports in the past few years about how often women should have cervical screening, or Pap tests. It’s understandable if you’re confused about when to make your appointment for your well woman checkup. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) just released new Pap guidelines, clarifying the best practice for women seeking reproductive health care. (http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/pfs004.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20140922T1800380088) The physicians at New York Fertility Services are here to answer all of your questions about these new Pap guidelines.
At what age should a woman get her first Pap test?
ACOG recommends that cervical cancer screening should start at 21 years old.
How often should a woman get a Pap test?
The answer depends on her age. Women without a history of cervical cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or a weak immune system, should follow these guidelines:
Why do the new Pap guidelines say that women under 30 shouldn’t have HPV tests?
Even though HPV is very common among women under 30, their immune systems often fight it off without intervention. This means that even if a woman tests positive for HPV, the problem would likely go away on its own, so there’s no added benefit to test.
According to the new guidelines, I’m not due for a Pap test – should I still go for an annual exam?
Yes! Annual exams are not just for Pap and HPV tests. They offer an important opportunity for your OBGYN to review your health history, conduct a physical exam and share information about health risk prevention. Visit our Annual Exam page to learn more about the importance of these visits for fertility patients.
If you have more questions about how and if the new Pap guidelines will affect you, or to schedule your annual well woman checkup, please contact us to schedule a consultation. Dr. Batzofin and Dr. Ressler are here to provide compassionate well woman care for women from Newark to Hoboken and every borough of New York.
Need more information on PAPs check out our site here>>