How Often Should You get Pelvic Exam And Pap Test?


2 Min Read

Curejoy Expert Gina Hodge Explains:

A pelvic exam will involve your healthcare provider looking for signs of infection or any other conditions. It will most likely include taking a few cells from your cervix for a ‘Pap test’. A Pap test can find pre-cancerous cell changes of the cervix. Sometimes a Pap test is also called a Pap smear.

Pap tests are usually part of a regular pelvic exam. During a Pap test, your health care provider inserts a metal or plastic speculum into your vagina. The speculum is opened to separate the walls of the vagina so that the cervix can be seen. The health care provider then uses a small sampler — a spatula or tiny brush — to gently collect cells from the cervix. The cells are sent to the laboratory to be tested. Detecting problems early can help you get the treatment you need to keep healthy.

After your first pelvic exam, your health care provider will tell you how often you should have gynecological care, including pelvic exams. How often you need exams will depend on your medical history and personal health needs. Generally, a Pap smear is recommended for women from 21 years of age. Women ages 21-65 should have routine screening with Pap test every three years. Combining a Pap test with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test can safely extend the interval between cervical cancer screenings from three years to five years in many women between the ages of 30-65, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Also according to USPSTF guidelines, HPV testing is not recommended for women in their 20s because people in that age group can have HPV infections that resolve without treatment.

But please note that may need more frequent pelvic exams if you have a history of abnormal Pap test results a history of sexual health problems a family history of certain kinds of cancer a sexually transmitted infection or a sex partner with an infection recurrent vaginitis. In some cases, a pelvic exam is needed in order to prescribe hormonal birth control — the pill, the patch, the ring, or the shot. A pelvic exam is always needed for inserting an IUD or fitting a diaphragm.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

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Jennifer Rozier
Jennifer Rozier 5pts

What if you've had hysterectomy? Should you still have pelvic exam

Nakeda Cox
Nakeda Cox 5pts

It's every 3yrs now unless there are health issues

Shakuntala Ratwani
Shakuntala Ratwani 5pts

Third party insurance says every year but Medicare pays every two years.

Lynne Paulocsak
Lynne Paulocsak 5pts

Every year! And don't forgwt the yearly mammogram starting at age 40.

Niloo Jalali
Niloo Jalali 5pts

Govt.... putting limitations on these exams now in canada

Kishra Ott
Kishra Ott 5pts

Yeah, that's not invasive at all.

Heidi Rae
Heidi Rae 5pts

Is that for wart removal or what? Looks SCI-FI!

Elnita Kindle
Elnita Kindle 5pts

Looks like a high powered telescope. She has on an astronaut suit. What kind of pap examine is that? Rather, what kind of Vjay jay is that?

Em Kay
Em Kay 5pts

Yikes! Maybe a blow dryer?

Mc Diestch
Mc Diestch 5pts

And in consideration of those who might wonder how we kept my grandfather strong for that long was through diet, and love! My father is a huge believer of nature and very diligently made his research. Along the way we supplemented him with cats claw, co q 10, and I will find out in detail what other supplements kept his immune system strong.... He also deleveloped a sweet and funny addiction to walnuts! Every time that we would visit my grandfather he would always pull out of his pocket a handful of walnuts and with a happy look on his face he would ask "quieres?" Which mean "would you like some?" In Spanish! Lol. So we believe in the healing power of nuts and seeds, nutrition and love! \U0001f496

Mc Diestch
Mc Diestch 5pts

I apologize for my harsh response... I could have responded in a much softer graceful way! ... It's just so painful to see a loved one going through this... We are a very health conscientious family. So this has been a big kick to the gut. We are all still speechless and a bit shaken and still trying to figure out where we went wrong! There family business is bringing happiness and health to families that struggle with food allergies www.mygerbs.com much love to you all and sorry if I ever sounded frustrated or rough \U0001f496

Oma Ramlogan
Oma Ramlogan 5pts

Doctors are idiots too. Had a Pap test and the cell bled. Which is not normal. Do you think the doc paid attention? No. They just wait on result which said fine. Morons. So ask questions.

Anica Ontiveros
Anica Ontiveros 5pts

I hadn't gone for 3 years... I just dont like it.. but I did just go and think it'd be good for you to go too... its not only for stds but they also check for any abnormalities .. some of which could cause cancer or other diseases. .. its best to catch them early :)

Garrett Berendt
Garrett Berendt 5pts

This picture is creepy. Why are vaginacologists always dudes lol

Renee Braine
Renee Braine 5pts

Oh my God doesn't he look like Jeffrey Dahmer \U0001f601

Mili Pallath
Mili Pallath 5pts

It is too painful. Hate going back for it! :-(

Donna Hledik
Donna Hledik 5pts

I had a baby 28 years ago and haven't been back for my 6 week check up yet

Meme OC
Meme OC 5pts

Lol maybe he's looking good \U0001f603

Brenda Arroyo
Brenda Arroyo 5pts

? I haven't been to doctor for 5 years is it normal NOT to go doctors is ut normal .but its been 4 month no sex. but i just do it with the same person is my partner

Jamie L Chaney
Jamie L Chaney 5pts

Actually I was sewn up wrong when I had my son. Then I developed a cyst around my urethra. I went to the urologist who I have never met before and OMG he was the most handsome, charming man I have ever met. They were setting me up for surgery and he comes in and tells me to lay back and put my legs in these leg holders not regular stirrups for regular exams. Then a bunch of people came in and I was soooooooo embarrassed. Then they started my IV and I was out. I woke up thankful that I never had to see him again. Then I found out I had a follow up with him. I was so red, my face was so hot and I couldn't stop laughing because I felt so stupid. So, yeah I rather have a lady or an old guy or ugly guy then a fine guy up in my business. lol