How often do I need to have a Pap smear?

How often you need to get a Pap smear done depends on your age, according to the American Cancer SocietyOff Site Icon (ACS).

For women younger between 21 and 30, being screened by a Pap smear every three years is safe and decreases the number of false positives there had been when Pap smears used to be recommended annually, according to the ACS.

Once a woman turns 30, the ACS recommends she have both and HPV test and Pap smear because having both tests does an even better job at decreasing the risk of cancer. If both test results are normal, they can be repeated every five years.

Women 65 and older who have been screened on a regular basis or who have had a hysterectomy for non-cancerous reasons do not need to continue getting screened, according to the ACS.

For more information about the how often to have a Pap smear, talk with your doctor.

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