Regular preventive care is one of the most important ways to maintain your health over time.
A yearly exam screens for infection, inflammation and other abnormal cells that could indicate a disease process that has started. Early detection is key. Pap smears can detect early precancerous cells around the cervix.
Women should have a pap smear every two years starting at the age of 21. After 30, you may decrease the frequency to every three years if you’ve had three normal pap smear tests in a row and if your immune system has not been weakened by a virus or recent health condition.
During the exam the doctor will examine your pelvic organs for any changes or abnormalities. During the pap smear, some tissue from the cervix will be removed and examined.
Your breasts will be examined for lumps and changes in tissue shape and color.
Yearly exams are important for the screening and prevention of potential problems.