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When should I have a pap smear?

By Peter Wood 1 min read

Q: When should my daughter start having a pap smear test? Some people have told me only after she has become sexually active while others have said when she hits puberty.

Most cases of cervical cancer are associated with a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). Due to the successful uptake of the vaccine in Australia, there are reduced HPV infections in the younger population. Since December 2017, the recommendation is for pap tests every five years from 25 years onwards, unless she is having unusual vaginal bleeding symptoms.


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Any advice given is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and must not be relied upon as such. For any healthcare advice, always consult a healthcare practitioner.

Peter Wood is an obstetrician-gynaecologist with Sydney Adventist Hospital.


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