Harvard Women's Health Watch

Do you need to see your gynecologist every year?

Recommendations no longer support annual visits—but every woman is different.

It feels good to know that we're staying on top of our health, whether we're having our teeth cleaned every six months, getting regular eye exams, or seeing our doctor for a check-up. Many of us have come to rely on our annual gynecological visit as a time to check on our health, to make sure our female organs are in good working order.

But do we really need to see our gynecologist each year for a check-up? The answer used to be yes, in part to ensure we got regular Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. However, new cervical cancer screening guidelines recommend less frequent Pap tests for younger women and no Pap tests for many older women, which may mean many of us no longer need this annual health ritual.

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