The most commonly used test is called a Pap Smear or a Pap test. Your healthcare provider will be able to perform this simple test for you. It involves collecting a sample of the cells that have been naturally shed from the cervix, and examining them under a microscope in the laboratory.
If you are have ever had sex, are currently sexually active or are 21 years of age or older, most experts recommend yearly Pap smears till age 30.
If you are a woman 30 years of age or older and have had three or more normal Pap tests in a row, you may safely opt to have a Pap test every two to three years.
You may have heard about HPV DNA tests. Commercially available tests usually tell you whether you have been infected with high-risk HPV types. High-risk HPV types are those HPV types that are more closely linked to cervical cancer. If you are a woman of 30 or older and opt to have this test at the same time as your Pap test and have negative results for both tests, you may safely have you next HPV or Pap test in 3 years.