Annual Pelvic Exams

When to Get Your First Pap Smear
OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says the age a woman should have her first Pap smear is 21 or when she becomes sexually active, whichever comes first. "The key is also to talk to teenagers about what sexual activity is. There is a misconception out there about oral sex, vaginal penetration, all kinds of different ideas about what actual intercourse is.”

She also encourages parents to bring their daughters in to see a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15 to start a relationship.

How Often Should You Get a Pap Smear?

Women should get a pap smear every one to three years, depending on their age and medical history.

Detecting Cervical Cancer
“Cervical cancer can be prevented and cured with early screening tests like pap smears and colposcopies,” Dr. Lisa says. She explains that the cervix is located at the back of the vagina and demonstrates its shape by holding up a small bagel.