PAP smear guidelines have changed. The PAP smear is short for Papanicalou smear, developed by the physician of the same name in 1947. Back then, cervical cancer was the number one killer of women. Now it's not even in the top three!
When do I need to get a PAP test?
According to the American College of Ob/Gyns, a women should begin PAP testing at the age of 21 and have a pap every two years until she is 30. After 30, if she has no abnormal tests, she can stretch out the testing to every three years.
When can I stop getting PAP smears?
After age 65, if you have had three normal exams in a row.
Does this mean I don't have to come see my Gyne every year?
No. Unfortunately, since there is limited testing for ovarian and uterine cancers, you still need to see your gyne every year for clinical breast exam, pelvic exam and other necessary screening tests.
Yours in Good Health,