Riverwalk OBGYN

Do I Need A Pap Smear After Menopause?

10.08.23 in Menopause

Do I Need A Pap Smear After Menopause?

Do I Need A Pap Smear After Menopause?

You will most likely need a pap smear, also called pap test, after menopause as part of your health and wellness routine. The purpose of a pap test is to look for inconsistencies in the cervix that show cervical cancer or conditions that may develop into cancer.

Most likely, you started getting pap smears around age 21, and they are now a routine part of your checkups. Although your body goes through many changes when you reach menopause, that does not mean you should stop receiving important exams!

Why Pap Smears Are Important

Because a pap smear can detect pre-cancerous tissue on the cervix, it is one of the most effect ways of early detection. Abnormal tissue can quickly become cancerous if left untreated. In the United States, nearly 13,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. And unfortunately, over 4,000 will die from the disease. So, before it can develop further, a pap smear can help detect the issue early.

Do I Need A Pap Smear After Menopause?

For most women, the short answer is yes. A pap test is recommended every three years for women ages 21 to 65. So, this means you will need a pap smear after menopause, even if you have just entered this stage of your lifecycle. Additionally, a pap test is particularly important if you have had abnormal pap smear results for three consecutive years.

When Do I Stop Receiving The Exam?

Women who are age 70 and have had no abnormal pap tests in 10 years, or those who have had a total hysterectomy for a non-cancerous condition, may no longer need the exam. However, it is important that you continue receiving routine pelvic exams.

Are There Symptoms I Should Be Aware Of?

Even if you have stopped receiving your exams, there are still important symptoms you should be aware of. If you notice any of the following, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible:

  • Pelvic pain. It can be a warning sign of abnormal changes, albeit pelvic pain is not a direct symptom of cervical cancer.
  • Abnormal bleeding. Particularly if you are postmenopausal, it is not normal to experience vaginal bleeding of any sort.
  • Vaginal discharge. Pink, watery and/or foul smelling discharge is abnormal and could be a sign of a more serious issue.

Schedule Your Pap Smear At Our OBGYN In San Antonio, TX

Because a pap test catches cervical cancer early, thus saving lives, it is essential to every woman’s healthcare routine. For this reason, you should talk to your doctor about your cervical cancer risk and your options for protection against it.

Request an Appointment at Riverwalk OBGYN in San Antonio

Contact Riverwalk OBGYN at (210) 402-6022 if you have questions about whether you need a pap smear after menopause or to book an appointment.

 



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