For years, women have been told to get an annual pap test and a pelvic exam. Some organizations, however, like the American College of Physicians, recommends against getting them so frequently. We asked Northern Nevada Medical Group’s Dr. Amanda Magrini to join us for Ask the Doctor to discuss these guidelines and cervical cancer.

The recommendation for an annual pelvic exam is in opposition to guidelines released by the American College of Physicians (ACP), which state the "ACP strongly recommends against performing screening pelvic examination in asymptomatic, non-pregnant adult women." This only applies to healthy women. The American Cancer Society recommends the same guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. However, these guidelines do not apply to women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer, cervical pre-cancer or HIV infection. Dr. Magrini says if a woman has no history of abnormal findings on pelvic exam and has no genital complaints or concerns, she offers an annual pelvic exam, but she discusses the ACP recommendations.

Cervical cancer is a serious disease that often presents with no symptoms at all in its early stages. If you're at heightened risk of cervical cancer, it's a good idea to have regular checkups with your doctor and undergo screenings for the preliminary signs of the disease. Risk factors include HPV infection and sexual activity with multiple partners, or with a partner who has other sexual partners. HPV is listed as the most common cause of cervical cancer. As the cancer advances, you will likely experience pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, and urinary abnormalities.

You can reach Dr. Magrini at Northern Nevada Medical Center’s Sparks location:

5975 S. Los Altos Parkway, Suite 100

Sparks, NV


Fax: 775-327-4121