What measurement means for chlamydia screening

A Pap test (also called a Pap smear) is a screening test for cervical cancer. This test looks for abnormal changes in the cells that could become cancerous without treatment. The most common cause of cervical cancer is infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV). You can lower your risk of HPV infection by getting the HPV vaccination. Cervical cancer can often be prevented by early testing and treatment, which is why regular Pap tests are so important for women's health.

Routine screenings are the best way to find chlamydia at an early stage, before it has spread throughout the cervix or to other parts of the body. Even if you are not sexually active, you should have regular Pap tests. If you do not have a cervix because of a hysterectomy, you do not need a Pap test. Some women may need Pap tests more often than once every three years. Please ask your doctor or nurse about how often you need routine cervical cancer screening.

The statewide rate of chlamydia screening by all reporting medical groups is 72%. This means that 70 out of 100 women between the ages of 24 and 64 in Minnesota and neighboring areas had received a Pap test in the past three years.

High rates of chlamydia screening can be a sign of strong clinical care. Your medical group (or clinic) may have received a higher or lower rating depending on how many of their patients were current on their Pap tests. Differences in percentages between medical groups don't always reflect the experience or quality of care you might have as a patient. Always talk with your doctor or health care provider if you have questions or concerns.