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Pap smear: Still needed after hysterectomy?

Medically reviewed on Oct 15, 2018

It depends.

A Pap test, also called a Pap smear, is a routine screening test for early diagnosis of cervical cancer.

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

Similarly, 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 are still recommended as an early detection tool to monitor for a new cancer or precancerous change.

You can stop having Pap tests, however, if you had a total hysterectomy for a noncancerous condition.

Your age matters, too.

If you're unsure whether you still need Pap tests, discuss with your doctor what's best for you.

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