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Definition of Pap Test Procedure
A Pap test, also called a Papanicolaou test, is the laboratory examination of cells swabbed from the cervix during a pelvic examination. The test derives its name from the doctor who developed it.
Women over age 18 should have Pap tests every one to three years, depending on their health status.
A woman who has had a total hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus including the cervix) for reasons other than cancer does not need Pap tests unless she has a history of human papillomavirus (hpv). When the hysterectomy was for cancer or was a simple hysterectomy (removal only of the uterus), the woman needs Pap tests according to routine recommendations.
|PAP TEST RECOMMENDATIONS|
|Woman’s Age||Health Status||Pap Test Interval|
|under 21||sexually active||every year|
|21 to 30||all women regardless of health status||every year|
|31 to 64||three consecutive normal Pap tests|
no sexually transmitted diseases (stds)
|every two to three years|
|31 to 64||multiple sex partners|
Human papillomavirus (hpv) infection
abnormal Pap test within three years
has had treatment for cancer of the cervix or endometrium (uterus)
|65 to 70||normal Pap tests for the previous 10 consecutive years|
|no longer necessary|
|any age||mother took diethylstilbestrol (DES) when she was pregnant|
organ transplant recipient
long-term corticosteroid therapy
impaired immune function
See also COLPOSCOPY.
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