By delaying a first Pap test until age 21, teen girls can avoid unnecessary invasive procedures to treat HPV precancers. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should have a Pap test every 3 years, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Cancer Society. Talk to a health care provider about the schedule that is best for you.
It is recommended that adolescents receive the HPV vaccination. This vaccine is highly effective in protecting men and women from the types of HPV that can cause cancer. The vaccine should be given before an adolescent has become sexually active.