Cervical Health

Woman looking at cervical health report

The American Cancer Society reports “over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%.” This drastic decrease is mainly attributed to the increase in regular screening tests, which can detect abnormal cells at an early stage, leading to appropriate intervention and treatment.

Cervical Cancer Facts

  • Most abnormal cervical cells are not cervical cancer, but could eventually cause cervical cancer.
  • Many instances of abnormal cervical cells and HPV resolve on their own without causing other problems.
  • Cervical cancer is preventable with the appropriate screening tests (Pap and HPV) that look for abnormal cervical cells.
  • Cervical cancer is also one of the most treatable cancers when detected in the early stages.

ACS Guidelines

The American Cancer Society guidelines for prevention and early detection of cervical cancer include:

Cervical cancer screening beginning at age 21.

  • From age 21-29: Pap test every three years
  • Age 30 to 65: Pap and HPV tests every five years; or just the Pap test every three years
  • Over age 65: Cervical cancer screening can stop if no serious issues on the last 20 years (precancerous cells)

Women with a high risk of cervical cancer or those who have had a total hysterectomy should follow the screening recommendations of their provider. Click here for the full ACS guidelines.

Talk to Your Doc

Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms or changes, such as:

  • Pain during intercourse
  • Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
  • Heavier than usual menstrual flow
  • Bleeding between periods or other vaginal discharge

However, many women do not experience any symptoms, making regular Pap testing that much more important. Once abnormal cells have been detected, follow-up tests and treatment are equally as important. Your Capital Women’s Careprovider can provide information and guidance in all these situations.

Our Mission

The providers of Capital Women's Care seek the highest quality medical and ethical standard in an environment that nurtures the spirit of caring for every woman.


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