Do I Need an Annual Gynecology Exam?

Do I Need an Annual Gynecology Exam?

“Do I need to have a yearly exam if Pap smear screening is only every 3 to 5 years now?” The answer, yes! Your annual well woman exam is much more than cervical cancer screening. A full physical exam, including breast and pelvic is done, in addition to any screening lab work or prescription refills.

Specific information about cervical cancer screening – Pap smear.

Cervical cancer has decreased 50% in the last 30 years because of widespread screening. Technologies for screening and recommendations for managing results continue to evolve.

If your Pap smear results are NORMAL, then you fall in the category of routine screening.

  • 21-29 yo every 3 years (pap, reflex HPV test if pap is abnormal)
  • 30 yo and older every 5 years (pap + HPV testing)

Screening should begin at age 21 and may end at age 65, if routine negative screening and no history of moderate dysplasia (CIN II) or higher.

If your results are abnormal, then your doctor will make appropriate recommendations based on up to date guidelines.

Most cases of cervical cancer are in women who either haven’t been screened or have had infrequent screening.

Please get screened and encourage your loved ones to get screened.

What if I have had a hysterectomy?

If you have had your uterus and cervix removed and no history of moderate or severe dysplasia on cervical screening, you may discontinue screening and HPV testing. If your cervix remains (supracervical hysterectomy) then you must continue routine screening.