When You Should Start Getting Pap Smears

Annual exams are important to any woman’s reproductive, and overall, health. These visits can help us detect potential or early problems so that we can treat them right away. We are here to let you know why a Pap smear is an important test that every woman should get and when you should start getting one.

Once a girl becomes a teenager, it’s time to consider a trip to the gynecologist. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology advise young women to visit their OBGYN for the first time between 13 to 15 years old. This is a great time to establish rapport between your teenage daughter and their gynecologist. The visit will consist of an external physical exam only, after the first visit it is recommended that you continue to come in once a year.

A lot of changes are happening when a girl becomes a teenager and it is important to have a doctor that you can turn to when your teen has questions or concerns. These visits can be a great time to talk about managing menstrual symptoms, changes happening to the body, and/or contraceptive care. This also offers an early education on sexually transmitted diseases and ways to prevent pregnancy.

When it comes to the internal examination and a Pap smear, the standard age for a healthy woman is 21 years old. These tests are then performed from any interval between 1-3 years. During a Pap smear, cells are brushed from the cervix and tested to check for any changes that could warn of cancerous or precancerous cells. In most cases, your gynecologist may also recommend getting the Gardasil vaccine to protect against high-risk HPV and other forms of cervical cancer.

Do you have questions about getting a Pap smear? Need to schedule your next appointment? No problem. Call your gynecologist at Comprehensive Wellness Care in Chicago, IL today.

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