Pap Smears for Women: New Guidelines

November 21st, 2009 by DrToniBrayer in Better Health Network, News

Right in the middle of the national firestorm about Mammogram recommendations, the American College of Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued new guidelines for screening of cervical cancer. After 40 years of successfully convincing women to get pap smears annually, the new recommendations say women should not get their first pap test until age 21 and the intervals for testing can then be stretched out.

In summary, the new guidelines recommend:
•Start pap smears at age 21 regardless of prior sexual activity (no need at all in virgins).
•Test every 2 years to age 30
•After age 30, test every 3 years if prior tests are normal
•Stop at age 65 if prior tests have been negative.
•No paps needed for women who have had hysterectomy if there was no cancer
It is ironic that we now have two significant changes for screening tests in women’s health. According to the chair woman of the ACOG study group, Dr. Cheryl Iglesia, it was a bizarre coincidence that their guidelines hit right at the same time as the mammogram controversy.

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