|How often do I need a Pap smear?|
All women should start having annual Pap smears done when they're 18 or become sexually active. However, after 3 normal Pap smears in a row, they can be done less often. Pap smears every other year are still extremely sensitive at detecting cervical cancer, and cuts in half the chance of a false positive test. A false positive test is one that says something seems to be wrong, but in fact, there isn't. Since false positive tests can lead to unneeded procedures, less frequent tests are a good idea. Remember that if you do get an abnormal Pap, you must go back to annual exams until you've again had three normal ones in a row.
If you'd like more information about Pap smears and cervical cancer, visit OB-GYN.net.
By Dr. Flash Gordon
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