Frequently asked questions
Q:At what age should I have my first pap smear?
A:We recommend a young woman should have their first pap smear at age 21 or after they become sexually active.
Q: Do I need to reschedule my pap smear if I’m on my period?
A: Yes, also it is best to abstain from sexual intercourse 24-48 hours before your pap smear as it may interfere with the test results.
Q: How often do I need a pap smear?
A: A well woman exam should be done annually. How often you need a pap smear should be discussed with your provider and depends on your particular set of circumstances.
Q: When do I need to start getting mammograms?
A: Guidelines recommend starting mammograms at age 40 unless your family history dictates otherwise, then you should start mammograms ten years younger than the age your family member with breast cancer was diagnosed.
Q: When do I need to start getting colonoscopies?
A: Guidelines recommend having your first colonoscopy at age 50 unless your family history dictates otherwise, then you should start colonoscopies ten years younger than the age your first degree family member with colon cancer was diagnosed.