When to Have Your First Pap SmearThe American Cancer Society recommends that women have their first Pap smear about three years after they become sexually active or by age 21, whichever comes first. Subsequent Pap smears should occur every two years thereafter with a liquid based Pap test or annually with a conventional test.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend women have an annual Pap until age 30.
If you are well over twenty one and you have never had a Pap smear, it is not too late to have start having regular screenings. Having a regular Pap smear may considerably reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer.
Thirty and OverUnless recommended by a physician, continue screenings annually or every two to three years. Women who have had previous abnormal Pap smears, infected with HPV, or at high risk for cervical cancer may need to be screened more frequently.
At age 30, women have the option of having an HPV test along with their Pap smear. The HPV test identifies women who are infected with high risk strains of HPV that could lead to cervical cancer, if left unmonitored or untreated.