How often should women get a Pap Smear test?

The American Cancer Society (ACS) and The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommend that all women, even those how have had the HPV vaccine, following these screening guidelines:

  • Women ages 21–29 should be screened every three years with a Pap test
  • Women ages 30–65 should be screened every five years with a Pap test plus an HPV (co-testing), or a Pap test alone every 3 years 
  • Women over 65 can stop testing if they do not have a history of cervical cancer or severe abnormal cervical cells, and if they have had negative results with regular screening within the past 10 years (most recent being within the past 5 years)

Despite these recommendations, you should always follow the advice of your doctor about the frequency of testing as there may be other reasons to screen more often.