When Should you get a Pap Smear?

When Should you get a Pap Smear?

August 17, 2020
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Building a comprehensive picture of your health care involves more than just doctor’s visits and birth control. Wellness visits that include standard diagnostic tests and screenings help your healthcare practitioner build a baseline of health and provide the foundations for noticing and diagnosing changes early on.

Women’s health includes several screening tests that check for changes in the reproductive system. The most common of these is a pap smear, also called a pap test. The test results can detect precancerous cells, cervical cancer, and HPV.

Your healthcare provider can go over the process and reasons for pap smears as well as offer advice for how often to receive one and whether to use a combination pap smear with HPV testing for certain individuals.

When should I start pap smear tests?

In most cases, pap smears begin to happen regularly once you turn 21. Whether you’re sexually active or not, your reproductive system has matured, and pap smears help your NYC Gynecologist understand your comprehensive health status and notice any changes that may happen over time.

Tests happen every three years until the age of 30, provided each test comes back normal. Abnormal results or high-risk patients may work with a healthcare practitioner to coordinate tests on a different schedule to ensure an accurate medical history.

How often should I get a pap smear?

Pap smear routines depend on two things — age and risk. General advice may not apply to your situation, or your circumstances may change over time, so it’s essential to work closely with your healthcare practitioner to find your personalized solution based on your health needs.

Age-related factors

Women who turn 21 should begin regular pap screenings every three years, as long as the test results return normal. Once they reach age 30, many practitioners recommend combining pap tests with HPV testing for a five-year rotation until the age of 65.

Women who are 65 and older don’t usually need pap smears any more if they’ve had a history of regular testing with no recent abnormal pap smears. This advice continues throughout the remainder of life.

Risk-related factors

On top of age recommendations, your health practitioner will also look at your risk factors to determine the scheduling. If you’re high risk, you may begin regular pap smears sooner than the age of 21 or receive more frequent pap tests.

If you have abnormal results that result in a diagnosis, you may move to that high-risk category at any point in your life. You may also begin co-testing sooner than expected to monitor cell changes or receive tests more often than the recommended five year period.

Abnormal swabs could mean a variety of different things, so working with your healthcare provider to begin an alternate plan is a part of ensuring you have a complete medical history. The sample of cells could be compromised, but they may point to developing conditions your gynecologist wants to watch.

If you’ve had a total hysterectomy for reasons other than cervical cancer and no longer have a cervix, your risk factors are incredibly low — low enough to negate the need for further pap smears. However, if you have other risk factors, you may still receive regular pap smears.

What happens if my test results are abnormal?

Changes in your cervical cells can mean a variety of things, and not all of those are bad news. If you receive an abnormal pap smear result, your gynecologist will likely order diagnostic test.

You may receive additional cervical cancer screenings looking for abnormal cells or further test such as a colposcopy, in which a gynecologist carefully examines the cervix, vulva, and vagina for signs of disease or infection.

Combined HPV testing after the age of 30 can help look for Human papillomavirus strains directly related to certain cancers. These screening guidelines provide a foundation of health and wellness and give you the chance to make decisions based on changes in health information as early as possible.

Pap Smears and Women’s Health

Working with your gynecologist and healthcare practitioner for regular screening tests helps you make the best decisions for health and wellbeing. These checkup tests offer a unique insight into biological changes that happen as you age. With a history of regular testing, your healthcare expert has a better chance of catching and diagnosing any conditions early.

Early diagnosis at your doctor’s office means a better chance of success in treatments plus a broader range of choices. Your risk factors and your health situation is unique; allow the gynecology experts at Great City Medical help you build a lifelong plan for comprehensive health.

We can examine all your risk factors, age, and medical history to create a plan, and give you the best chance at a long, healthy life. Contact us to schedule your health screenings and put your medical foundation in place.


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I’ve been going to Great City Medical for year’s and they are very professional, my Medical and GYN doctors are the best doctors I’ve never had a problem.
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17:12 06 Oct 21
I was very pleased with this facility. I didn’t have to wait, the nurse and doctor were quite human (vs bureaucratic), and I felt seen and listened to.
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It is great office with a best gynecologist Dr Yelena Tsyba
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Great City Medical clinic helped me file my green card immigration medical exam form. The team is very knowledgeable and flexible. I scheduled my appointment within one week and got the report quickly. Due to some personal health issues, I had to update my report two days before the interview, and the team helped me correct the form with no extra cost within one day! I really appreciated it and highly recommended having your medical exam report done quickly and professionally with the Great City Medical team.
Hao W.
Hao W.
20:49 16 Sep 21
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Black D.
Black D.
19:12 16 Sep 21
Aesthetically this is not the best looking clinic but the service was okay. They gave me false positive results from my pap I wanted to have a second opinion before they was going to go in and do a coloscopy. I was good that I did. I don’t know something was fishy about this place . When I had an ultrasound there were staff members basically arguing with eachother. Talking about a new MA.When I left and came back for results and they told me I had low sodium levels I was worried about that, so I drank pediasure. The only thing they told me to do was eat deli sandwiches and salted nuts. I’m always fishy about places that do abortions, its a clinic not a hospital.
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My first time at this clinic and they’re awesome at least when they say they is going to call you about your results they do just that Unlike a lot of other clinics. I appreciate what they do for me thank you very much
deboria G.
deboria G.
18:18 25 Aug 21
Everyone is so friendly and pleasant and professional! Doesn’t feel like a hospital at all.
Daria Y.
Daria Y.
19:38 30 Jul 21
This place is amazing because of the ladies and doctors that work there. They are an amazing group of people! They are professional, friendly and courteous! The office manager, however, could be a little more courteous and friendly with the clients and the staff. I reccomend this clinic to everyone, great place and convenient.To all the staff; thank you for all the hard work that you do!
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jehona V.
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20:44 08 Jul 21
The entire staff was friendly and professional. They put the patients at ease by explaining the procedures they are performing. They are willing to answer questions so the patient has clarity. The facilty is clean, well lit, and there is plenty of space for patients to practice social distance.
Tara C.
Tara C.
21:07 25 Jun 21
I’m new to this office and had a great experience with my appointment. Almost no wait time, very pleasant front desk staff and very helpful and caring doctor. On site ultrasound is a big plus. Would recommend this place to everyone.
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Melody V.
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Thank you so mush to my doctor Akselrud
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00:07 21 May 21
Buen trato y buen servicio
Clsa 0.
Clsa 0.
22:41 18 May 21
Upon arrival Brenda at the front desk is exceptionally wonderful, the medical assistant (never caught her name) is so sweet & Dr. Vanessa Sanchez listened to my concerns and addressed all of my issues. Thanks a lot ladies.
Pamela C.
Pamela C.
16:15 07 May 21
Beautiful office , people in the front desk as well as the doctor and nurses where all amazing and kind . No wait time. Overall a wonderful experience
Lucero G.
Lucero G.
14:30 05 May 21
Had to wait for 1/2 hour and the person at the front desk wore her mask BELOW her nose. Dr. Akselrud could not have been nicer and he was more than helpful in dealing with my medical issue. He is a good doctor.
Alexis G.
Alexis G.
03:07 28 Apr 21
My gyn doctor was great she listen and answer your questions good so if you looking for a gyn doctor she the best so far
sha W.
sha W.
17:09 02 Apr 21
Wonderful office, Amazing doctors and Staff. Highly recommend, a jewel in East Harlem!
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