Pap Tests and I

Even though I am young,
or I am a virgin,
or I have had the HPV vaccine,
I may still need regular Pap tests.

Even though I have only had sex once,
or I am not having sex now,
or I have not had sex for years,
I may still need regular Pap tests.

Even though I have only had one sex partner,
or I have only same sex partners,
I may still need regular Pap tests.

Even though I have had a partial hysterectomy,
or a total hysterectomy,
or a cancer-related hysterectomy,
I may still need regular Pap tests.

Even though I have been through menopause,
I may still need regular Pap tests until
I am 70 years of age, younger or older.

It may therefore be in my best interest to
choose to check what’s-what for me.

Meno Martha
Umbrella
What may the Pap Tests and I Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this umbrella may include:

  • Cervical Screening Test
  • Pap Smear
  • Pap Smear Test
  • Pap Test
  • Smear Test

Start – Stop

Can when to start, when to stop and how often to have regular Pap tests, vary?

Pap Tests and I

Yes. Depending on You (DoY), DotS and/or Depending on Your Country’s (DoYC’s) cervical cancer screening program, when to start, when to stop and how often to have regular Pap tests can vary. It may therefore be in your best interest to choose to check what’s-what for you in your country.

Young

If I am young, do I still need regular Pap tests?

DoY, DotS and/or DoYC’s  cervical cancer screening program, when you start having regular Pap tests can vary. It may therefore be in your best interest to choose to check what’s-what for you in your country.

In Pap and HPV Testing: When Should A Woman Begin Cervical Cancer Screening, and How Often Should She Be Screened? the (United States) National Cancer Institute (NCI) elaborate on:

“Women should talk with their doctor about when to start screening and how often to be screened”.1

Virgin

If I am a virgin, do I still need regular Pap tests?

In Pap Smear: Do I Need One If I’m A Virgin? the author explains:

“Most health care organizations recommend women begin regular Pap testing at age 21. If you’re a virgin — meaning you haven’t had sexual (vaginal) intercourse — you may have a low risk of cervical cancer, but you can still consider testing”.2

HPV Vaccine

If I have had the HPV vaccine, do I still need regular Pap tests?

In HPV and Pap Testing: Do Women Who Have Been Vaccinated Against HPV Still Need To Be Screened for Cervical Cancer? the NCI note:

“Yes. Current HPV vaccines do not protect against all HPV types that cause cervical cancer, so it is important for vaccinated women to continue to undergo routine cervical cancer screening”.3

In Frequently Asked Questions – Cervical Screening: HPV Specific FAQs – I’ve Had My HPV Vaccine Do I Still Need To Have Screening Tests Done? the (Australian) National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) note:

“Yes. Even if you have had the HPV vaccine you should have regular Cervical Screening Tests. The HPV vaccine protects from up to 90% of the HPV types that can cause several cancers including cervical, vaginal, vulval, anal, throat, and penile. It does not protect you against all types of HPV. The HPV vaccine works best if you have it before you are exposed to the virus. If you have already been exposed to HPV through sexual activity before getting the vaccine, your protection from the vaccine may be reduced”.4

Sex Only Once

If I have only had sex once, do I still need regular Pap tests?

Yes. According to the NCSP:

“Yes, if you are not currently sexually active it is still important to have regular Cervical Screening Tests”.5

Not Having Sex Now

If I am not having sex now, do I still need regular Pap tests?

According to the NCSP:

“Yes, if you are not currently sexually active it is still important to have regular Cervical Screening Tests”.6

Not Had Sex for Years

If I have not had sex for years, do I still need regular Pap tests?

According to the NCSP:

“Yes, if you are not currently sexually active it is still important to have regular Cervical Screening Tests”.7

One Sex Partner

If I have only had one sex partner, do I still need regular Pap tests?

According to the NCSP:

“Yes, if you are not currently sexually active it is still important to have regular Cervical Screening Tests”.8

Same Sex Partners

If I have only same sex partners, do I still need regular Pap tests?

Yes. In About HPV and Cervical Cancer: Can Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI) People Also Get the Virus? the NCSP note:

“Yes, anyone who engages in genital skin-to-skin contact with a person of any gender can get a HPV infection”.9

Partial Hysterectomy

If I have had a partial hysterectomy, do I still need regular Pap tests?

In Pap Smear: Still Needed After Hysterectomy? the author explains:

“If you had a partial hysterectomy — when the uterus is removed but the lower end of the uterus (cervix) remains — your doctor will likely recommend continued Pap tests”.10

Total Hysterectomy

If I have had a total hysterectomy, do I still need regular Pap tests?

In Hysterectomy: I’ve Had A Hysterectomy. Do I Still Need To Have Pap Tests? the Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov explain:

“Maybe. You will still need regular Pap tests (or Pap smear) to screen for cervical cancer if you:

  • Did not have your cervix removed
  • Had a hysterectomy because of cancer or precancer
Ask your doctor what is best for you and how often you should have Pap tests”.11

Cancer-Related Hysterectomy

If I have had a cancer-related hysterectomy, do I still need regular Pap tests?

In Pap Smear Still Needed After Hysterectomy? the author elaborates on:

“…if you had a partial hysterectomy or a total hysterectomy — when both the uterus and cervix are removed — for a cancerous or precancerous condition, regular Pap tests may still be recommended as an early detection tool to monitor for a new cancer or precancerous change”.12

Menopause

If I have been through menopause, do I still need regular Pap tests?

Yes. In Frequently Asked Questions – Cervical Screening: HPV Specific FAQs – Does the Cervical Screening Program Apply To Me If I’ve Been Through Menopause? according to the NCSP:

Pap Tests and I
“Yes, it is important you still get regular Cervical Screening Tests even if you have been through menopause”.13

Health Care Provider

What if I am unsure whether I still need Pap tests?

A Mayo Clinic author explains:

“If you’re unsure whether you still need Pap tests, discuss with your doctor what’s best for you”.14

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Pap Tests and I?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted:

Sources

  1. HPV and Pap Testing: When Should A Woman Begin Cervical Cancer Screening, and How Often Should She Be Screened? Reviewed: 20 December 2019. National Cancer Institute https://www.cancer.gov/types/cervical/pap-hpv-testing-fact-sheet#q4 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  2. Laughlin-Tommaso, S. K. Pap Smear: Do I Need One If I’m A Virgin? 02 June 2017. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pap-smear/expert-answers/pap-smear/faq-20057782 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  3. HPV and Pap Testing: Do Women Who Have Been Vaccinated Against HPV Still Need To Be Screened for Cervical Cancer? Reviewed: 20 December 2019. National Cancer Institute https://www.cancer.gov/types/cervical/pap-hpv-testing-fact-sheet#q10 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  4. Frequently Asked Questions – Cervical Screening: HPV Specific FAQs – I’ve Had My HPV Vaccine. Do I Still Need Screening Tests? Page Last Updated: 30 August 2018. National Cervical Screening Program https://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/frequently-asked-questions-3 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  5. Frequently Asked Questions – Cervical Screening: Do I Still Need A Cervical Screening Test If I’m No Longer Sexually Active? Page Last Updated: 30 August 2018. National Cervical Screening Program https://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/frequently-asked-questions-3 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  6. Frequently Asked Questions – Cervical Screening: Do I Still Need A Cervical Screening Test If I’m No Longer Sexually Active? Page Last Updated: 30 August 2018. National Cervical Screening Program https://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/frequently-asked-questions-3 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  7. Frequently Asked Questions – Cervical Screening: Do I Still Need A Cervical Screening Test If I’m No Longer Sexually Active? Page Last Updated: 30 August 2018. National Cervical Screening Program https://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/frequently-asked-questions-3 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  8. Frequently Asked Questions – Cervical Screening: Do I Still Need A Cervical Screening Test If I’m No Longer Sexually Active? Page Last Updated: 30 August 2018. National Cervical Screening Program https://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/frequently-asked-questions-3 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  9. About HPV and Cervical Cancer: Can Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI) People Also Get the Virus? Page Last Updated: 11 March 2020. National Cervical Screening Program https://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/about-HPV-and-cervical-cancer#7 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  10. Burnett, T. Pap Smear: Still Needed After Hysterectomy? 02 April 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pap-smear/expert-answers/pap-smear/faq-20058344 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  11. Hysterectomy: I’ve Had A Hysterectomy. Do I Still Need To Have Pap Tests? Medical Review In 2014. Page Last Updated: 01 April 2019.  Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/hysterectomy?from=AtoZ Accessed: 11 March 2020
  12. Burnett, T. Pap Smear: Still Needed After Hysterectomy? 02 April 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pap-smear/expert-answers/pap-smear/faq-20058344 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  13. Frequently Asked Questions – Cervical Screening: Does the Cervical Screening Program Apply To Me If I’ve Been Through Menopause? Page Last Updated: 30 August 2018. National Cervical Screening Program https://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/frequently-asked-questions-3 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  14. Burnett, T. Pap Smear: Still Needed After Hysterectomy? 02 April 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pap-smear/expert-answers/pap-smear/faq-20058344 Accessed: 11 March 2020
Topic Last Updated: 11 March 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 11 March 2020
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