Let’s Talk About Pap Smears
Over the years, we’ve heard a lot of things about pap smears. Like with many of our procedures, unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions out there. Today, we’d like the chance to set the record straight.
We’re going to address three common myths about pap smears and fill you in on the truth about this essential step in feminine health.
Ready? Ok. Here we go…
1. You have to get your first pap smear when you’re in your teen years
Many people assume that, because women are legally adults at the age of 18, that is also the age they should receive their first pap smear. However, that is not always the case. The truth is unless there are significant issues with a woman’s menstrual cycle at an early age, there is no need for a woman to get regular pap smears until she turns 21 years old.
2. You have to have a pap smear every year
This was thought to be the case years ago. However, because of new information and technology available to us, it’s no longer necessary for every woman to receive a pap smear every year. Though some patients who have abnormal pap smears or other issues will require more frequent treatment, most women will only need a pap smear every 2-3 years. However, it is still recommended that women pay annual visits to the OBGYN for a general check-up.
3. After menopause, it’s no longer necessary to get a pap smear.
This, like a lot of things involving gynecology, depends on the patient. However, generally, it is suggested that women between the ages of 21 and 65 get a pap smear. For most women, 65 is well past the age of menopause. Of course, that is entirely dependant on the woman in question and her doctor.
Now that you are armed with the truth, it’s time to act on it. Be sure to schedule your annual check-up with your OBGYN!
If you are looking for a new OBGYN, we’d love to talk to you. Drop us a line in our (contact page) or schedule an appointment.