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9 Must-Have Health Tests for Women

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Pap Tests and HPV Testing

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women get their first Pap smear at the age of 21 or three years after they become sexually active, and to get one every other year until the age of 30. Women over 30 who have had three consecutive "normal" results can then get one once every three years.

This essential test helps to detect cervical cancer at an early stage, when the recovery rate is very high. Additionally, start getting tested for HPV when you are 30, and then with your Pap smear every three years. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, and many sexually active women contract this infection at some point. It is tested using an HPV DNA test, and can use the same specimen as the one taken for your Pap smear.

Next: Mammograms and Self Checks


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