Ages 19–39 Years: Exams and Screening Tests

The following exams and screening tests are recommended for women in this age group:


Exam/Screening Test


What and Why




Cervical cancer screening

A sample of cells is taken from the cervix to look for changes that could lead to cancer (Pap test); this test may be combined with testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) in women aged 30 years and older


Age 21–29 years: Pap test alone every 3 years

Age 30 years and older:

-Preferred: Co-testing (Pap test plus HPV test) every 5 years 

-Optional: Pap test alone every 3 years 



A sample of cells is taken from any area where there may be an infection to check for the sexually transmitted infections gonorrhea and chlamydia. A urine test also is available for both infections.



Annually if you are

-24 years and younger and sexually active or

-25 years and older and have risk factors (such as multiple partners, a new sexual partner, or recent diagnosis with another sexually transmitted infection)



Breast exam by a health care professional


Every 1–3 years beginning at age 20 years



A test to check for HIV, a virus that can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)





At least once during your lifetime; review annually for risk factors to determine if repeat testing is needed




Next: Ages 19–39 Years: Immunizations

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American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998