As of November 2009 new guidelines for cervical cancer screening (Pap tests) were issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). 
These new guidelines state that:
  • Cervical cancer screening (Pap test) should begin at age 21 years.
  • Screening before age 21 should be avoided because it may lead to unnecessary and harmful evaluation and treatment in women at very low risk of cancer.
  • Cervical cytology screening (Pap testing) is recommended every 2 years for women between the ages of 21 years and 29 years.
  • Women aged 30 years and older who have had three consecutive normal Pap tests should speak with their providers about whether or not they can have Pap testing every 3 years (many women are medically eligible to extend the interval between Pap tests to 3 years, but this should be a decision that should be made jointly by the woman and her care provider).
  • Sexually active adolescents (females younger than age 21 years) should be counseled and tested for sexually transmitted infections, and should be counseled regarding safer sex and contraception. These measures may be carried out without a Pap test.

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