I have had a hysterectomy, do I need a Pap Smear or do I (finally!) get to skip it?
I wish I had better news for you, but the answer is a solid MAYBE. There is only one person who can answer this question and that person is your surgeon. Why? Because your surgeon is the only one who knows exactly what structures were removed and how much of each structure remains in your body.
Who SHOULD have a Pap Smear?
According to the national cancer institute the following women should have Pap smears regularly:
- All women between the ages of 21 and 65, this includes lesbians, virgins and sexually inactive women.
- Sexually active women under 21.
- Women who have been diagnosed with HPV (Human Papilloma Virus or Genital Warts)
- Women with a history of cancer of the reproductive system.
Source: The Pap Test: Questions and Answers. The National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/Pap-test
The Pap Test: Questions and Answers. The National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/Pap-test