When should women have their first pap?

Common question. New guidelines. Let me share. . .ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology)  released a position statement delaying pap screening in adolescents. A pap is now suggested at age 21 unless the patient has HIV or a weak immune system from another disease. And, HPV testing should not be done until age 21, either.

The reason for the change is that HPV is a common virus spread from sexual contact. And, adolescents get rid of their HPV virus (without extra help from physicians) 90% of the time. We now know that adolescents have been over-treated in the past which may lead to unnecessary treatments that compromise the cervix and increase a teen’s risk of having a preterm birth later in life.

I believe we-can’t-know-what-we-know-until-we-know-it. Research is continually coming out and redirecting us to better, more effective care. My job is to stay current. . . and to help educate.

Sexually active teens still need sexually transmitted disease screening yearly, but a pap can wait until age 21.

Happy birthday!

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About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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