When Should You Have a Pap Exam?

At Capital Women’s Care Division 64 in Silver Spring, MD, and serving Laurel, Rockville, Silver Spring, MD, our OB/GYN physicians recommend a Pap smear to monitor for signs of cervical cancer. There are also other diagnostic benefits to the exam.

Routine Pap Exams

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women should have their first Pap exam when they are 21 years old. If the results are normal, we may recommend that you have a Pap test every three years. If the test shows abnormal results, you may need a Pap test sooner.

If you are younger than 21 years old and experiencing certain issues, such as heavy bleeding, excessive cramps, and abdominal pain, our OB/GYN doctors may recommend a Pap test to diagnose the problem.

Women who are 65 or older may not need Pap exams. A history of normal results, surgery to remove your cervix, and other factors may indicate that a Pap test is no longer necessary.

Symptoms of HPV

A Pap smear for women in Silver Spring, MD, is the only way to detect human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that is prevalent among older teens and young adults. The virus has been linked to certain types of cancers and genital warts. A Pap test involves taking a sample of cells from the cervical lining. If your doctor finds abnormal cells, an additional test is performed to determine if you have HPV.

Do I Need a Pap Test After a Hysterectomy?

Your uterus and cervix are removed as part of a total or partial hysterectomy. Because you no longer have a cervix, do you still need a Pap exam? It depends. If your hysterectomy was recommended due to the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells, a Pap exam may need to be performed periodically. The examination aims to ensure that you don’t have any new signs of cancer.

Learn more about a Pap smear exam for women in Silver Spring, MD, including how often to have them and why. Call Capital Women’s Care Division 64 today at (310) 468-0073. We will schedule an appointment with one of our one our many providers in Laurel, Rockville, and Silver Spring, MD. We are open Monday through Friday 8-4 pm, and walk-in appointments are available on Mondays in Silver Spring for your urgent GYN needs.

Contact Us

Silver Spring Office

2101 Medical Park Drive Suite E200

Silver Spring, MD 20902

(301) 468-0073

(410) 584-1729

Laurel Office

7350 Van Dusen Road Suite 330

Laurel, MD 20707

(301) 468-0073

(410) 584-1729

Rockville Office

121 Congressional Lane Suite 100

Rockville, MD 20852

(301) 468-0073

(410) 584-1729

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8:00 am-4:00 pm


8:00 am-4:00 pm


8:00 am-4:00 pm


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