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Palomar College Health Services offers women the following services:

• Breast exam
• Contraception
• Evaluation and treatment of gynecological problems
• Papanicolau (Pap) smear
• Pregnancy testing
• Counseling and referral for pregnancy
• Referrals for emergency contraception
• Routine pelvic exam
• Sexually transmitted infections testing
• Treatment for urinary tract infections

Cervical cancer screening: The American Cancer Society recommends that you have your first pelvic exam and Pap test about 3 years after first having sexual relations or at age 21 if you haven't been sexually active.

After age 21, the guidelines are as follows:

Age Frequency
21 to 29 Every year.
30 to 69 Every 2 to 3 years if you've had three normal Pap tests in a row.
70 and older You may stop having Pap tests if you've had three normal Pap tests in a row and you've had normal Pap tests in the last 10 years.

How to Prepare For Your Pap Test
The American Cancer Society advises the following steps to ensure that you have the most accurate pap results:

• The best time to schedule your pap is at least 5 days
   after your menstrual period stops. If your period starts,
   call and reschedule your appointment.
• Don't use tampons, birth-control foams, jellies or
   other vaginal creams for 2 - 3 days before the test.
• There is no need to douche at all, but if you do,
   don't douche for 2 - 3 days before the test.
• Do not have sexual intercourse for 2 days before the test.

Last updated 7/25/03

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