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Published on January 30, 2019

When Should I Have a Pap Smear? Learn the Latest on Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines

Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines

Regular screenings help prevent cervical cancer. Most cases of cervical cancer occur in women who are 35 to 44 years old and in women who have never had a Pap test or have had a screening recently.

Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines

  • 21-29 Years Old: Have a Pap test every 3 years. HPV testing is not recommended.
  • 30-65 Years Old: Have a co-test (a Pap test and an HPV test together) every 5 years or have a Pap test alone every 3 years.
  • 66+ Yeas Old: Discontinue screening if you have a history of normal test results and are not at a higher risk for cervical cancer.

Should All Women Follow These Guidelines?

Women who are at higher risk for cervical cancer may need to screen more frequently. Ask your health care provider about what’s right for you.

Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines