Ask the Nurse

My physician recently told me that at 70 years old I can stop having a routine pelvic exam and pap test. Is this the opinion of most doctors?

A woman who has had a hysterectomy with the cervix removed for benign reasons and/or women over age 65 who have had normal pap smears during the years of ages 21-65 can safely discontinue routine pap smears.

The pelvic exam does not have to be done yearly (in the absence of symptoms). The pelvic exam includes examination of the external genitalia and includes a speculum exam to look at the vagina and then a bimanual palpitation.

However, a woman should see her physician yearly for the following:

  • health maintenance review
  • BP check
  • flu vaccination in the fall
  • periodic mammography
  • review of cancer screening
  • selected blood work
  • reassessment of hormone/bone/vaginal/bladder regimen, etc

Many women schedule a “yearly GYN exam” because they have concerns about sexual and/or bladder function and/or have symptoms. Any woman who has symptoms or concerns should be examined.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women’s Health nurse

September 19, 2016 at 10:11am