About Pap Tests

about pap tests 1

A Pap test looks for abnormal cell changes in the cervix.  Cells are taken from the cervix and sent to a laboratory to be examined under a microscope.

When should I start having a Pap test?

Women should have a Pap test starting at the age of 21 or three years after becoming sexually active, whichever occurs later.

How often should I have a Pap test?

You should have a Pap test every two years. Once you have had three consecutive normal results, you can have the test every three years. Women should continue having a Pap test until they turn 69. Some women may need a Pap test every year due to certain risk factors. Speak with your healthcare provider about what is right for you.

Do I need a Pap test if I’ve had the HPV vaccine?

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health provides HPV vaccines to girls and boys in grade 6. However, it is still important for females to have regular Pap tests once they become sexually active, as the vaccine does not protect against all types of HPVs. More information about HPV vaccines is available here.

Do I need a Pap test if I've had a hysterectomy?

If you had a subtotal hysterectomy (cervix still present) you should have a Pap test. If you had a total hysterectomy (cervix removed) you do not need a Pap test.

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