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Gynecologists Change Recommendations for Pap Smears

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The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) has changed it's recommendation for the onset and frequency of Pap smears for women.

Until this week, medical guidelines have called for women to get annual Pap smears, which check for cervical cancer and other cervical and reproductive abnormalities, beginning no later than three years after becoming sexually active, or at age 21 (whichever comes first). The change now recommends that every woman begin screening at age 21, and reduces the frequency of Pap smears for certain women who have had consistently normal results.

This is a tough pill to swallow for a lot of people; the suggestion to receive less preventive care rather than more is certainly counter-intuitive. But local women's health clinics are taking the recommendations seriously, and determining how they will incorporate them into care provided.