Wow! Stop the presses. Pap scheduling change.

Wow! Stop the presses. Pap scheduling change.  I know…every woman loves to go in to her doctor for a pap.  (Just kidding.)  Years ago we performed paps every year on every woman and that’s how the “annual visit” became synonymous with the pap.  Well…no more!

The USPSTF which is a conservative organization (US Preventive Services Task Force) tells us that we can space out the paps AND even decrease our number of tests.




The USPSTF recommends that primary care physicians
  • screen women ages 21-29 every THREE years with cervical cytology as long as the results are normal.
  • For women ages 30-65, the task force recommended screening with either cervical cytology alone (meaning a pap smear) every three years OR with high-risk HPV (hrHPV) testing alone (which feels like a pap, but is not) every five years.
  • For both the pap OR the high-risk HPV testing a woman is undressed from the waist down, feet in stirrups, and a speculum placed inside the vagina.  As a patient, you may be unaware of which test your doctor is doing.  Ask!  As a patient, I’d prefer the high-risk HPV test with the ability (if the test is negative/normal) to space out my paps for 5 years.

These are “A” recommendations.  “A” means that they are well researched and supported.  Want more information?

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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