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Camellia Women's Health

Comprehensive OB/GYN Services

When Do I Need A PAP or Pelvic Exam?

Teenage girls should see an OB/GYN between the ages of 13 to 15.  While pelvic exams are rarely required during this first visit, this visit helps to establish a relationship with the doctor of your choice and to go over your medical and sexual history, even if you have not had sexual intercourse.  This is a good time to ask questions about sexually transmitted diseases, contraceptives, issues regarding your period, and any other related concerns you might have.

ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommends that PAP smear testing begin at age 21 regardless of age of initiation of vaginal intercourse. ACOG further recommends yearly PAP smears until age 30.  After age 30, healthy women with no risk factors who have had at least three consecutive normal PAP smears may begin to have the test every 2-3 years, or as often as their gynecologist suggests.  An alternative option for women > 30 years is to screen with both a PAP test and an HPV test, and if both are negative, to not repeat these tests for 3 years.
While an annual PAP smear is not always necessary after age 30, all women still need an annual pelvic exam to assess for any changes, infections, or any other abnormalities.


The Ob Gyn doctors at Camellia Women's Health provide care for pregnancy, infertility, menopause, and other obstetrical and gynecological conditions to patients in the Roseville, Granite Bay, Carmichael, and Sacramento areas of California.
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