Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"When will the doctor suggest an OB/GYN follow up?"
How soon after my PAP will I have to come back for a follow up?
A pap test and a pelvic exam are an important part of the health care of women and can detect cancer and the virus, human papilloma virus or HPV, that can lead to cancer if left untreated. The answer to your question depends on multiple variables. The first is your age. Recent guidelines state that your first pap test be at age 21. Assuming that your test is negative, you should have a repeat pap every two years until age 30 at which point, assuming you have no other risk factors and all your paps have been negative, you may wait three years in between pap tests. So, if you had a normal pap test your doctor may just call you or inform you of the results via letter. However, if your pap was positive you may need to come back for either a repeat pap or a colposcopy (a specialized test where your doctor will put a special dye on your cervix to look for precancerous areas to biopsy). Most doctors still recommend that you see your OB/GYN yearly to have a physical and discuss other health maintenance issues as well as any concerns you are having. Please ask your doctor for more information.
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