New Guidelines: Women Under 21 Shouldn't Get Pap Smears

by: cancercompass

According to guidelines issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) on Wednesday, women who are under the age of 21 should not get pap smears.

Pap smears help clinicians detect abnormal cells on the cervix, like the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer. However, the ACOG recommends adolescents do not get tested.

"There's no point in testing for HPV because it's so common among teens and 90% of HPV infections are naturally resolved by the immune system within two years," Cheryl B.  Iglesia, MD, stated in a ACOG news release. "Adolescents have been over-treated for something that typically resolves on its own. We know that unnecessary treatments compromise the cervix and increase a teen's risk of having a preterm birth later in life."

What are your thoughts regarding the ACOG's recommendations?

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