HPV Test vs. the Pap FAQs

WHY WE ASK

Why Your Age Matters – and Why We Have to Ask

As explained on this Web site, the guidelines for HPV testing are different for women age 30 years and older than for younger women.

Although HPV infections are extremely common in women under 30, they usually go away on their own before they cause problems. Thus, medical guidelines do not recommend routine HPV testing in this age group.

Cervical cancer is most common in women who are older than 30, because HPV infections are more likely to be persistent at this stage. That's why it's now recommended that women age 30 and over get a regular HPV test along with their Pap.