Ontario Cervical Screening guidelines
Initiation of screening
- Women between the ages of 21 and 69 who are, or have ever been, sexually active should have a Pap test.
- Screening should be initiated within three years of first vaginal sexual activity, i.e., vaginal intercourse, vaginal/oral and/or vaginal/digital sexual activity.
- Screening should be done annually until there are three consecutive negative Pap tests.
- After three annual negative Pap tests, screening should continue every three years.
- If a woman has not been screened in more than five years, she should be screened annually until there are three consecutive negative Pap tests.
- Women with previous abnormal Pap tests may be screened more frequently.
- Women who have sex with women should follow the same cervical screening regimen as women who have sex with men.
Cessation of screening
- Screening may be discontinued after the age of 70 if there is an adequate negative screening history in the previous 10 years (i.e. 3 or more negative tests).
- Even if women have stopped having sex, they should continue to have the test.
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