Cervical Cancer Screening

Get tested. Prevent cervical cancer.

Screening tests for women can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:

  • The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for cell changes on your cervix that might become cervical cancer if not treated.
  • The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes on your cervix.
  • Your doctor should also perform a pelvic exam, checking your uterus, ovaries, and other organs to make sure there are no problems.

Who should be tested?

  • The Pap test and regular pelvic exams are recommended for all women between the ages of 21 and 65, even if you are no longer having sex.
  • If you are older than 65, your doctor may tell you that you do not need to have a Pap test anymore. Talk to your doctor to decide what is right for you.
  • Talk to your health care provider about whether you need the HPV test.

How often should you be tested?

Your risk of getting cervical cancer depends on many things, like your age, your family history and how many sexual partners you have had. Often doctors recommend Pap and HPV tests every year for their patients who are sexually active. Talk to your doctor about how often is right for you.

Your preventive benefits cover these tests.

Additional Resources