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Trans men and cervical cancer screening
Cervical cancer. It’s not something that any of us like to think about, but for many trans men and people on the transmasculine/female to male/FtM gender spectrum, cervical cancer screening comes with particular concerns.
It can be hard to make cervical screening a priority, especially if it's uncomfortable even thinking about having a cervix. Maybe you’re concerned that you may experience transphobia at the screening facility. Perhaps you’re worried that having a Pap test could be uncomfortable or upsetting, or that it could make gender dysphoria worse. Or, maybe you just don’t want to think about cancer.
But if you’re a trans guy age 21 or older who has ever had sex — with anyone — then you need to get screened for cervical cancer if you have a cervix.
It depends on the type of hysterectomy you had. If you don’t know what type you had, you will need to talk to your healthcare provider.
- If you had a hysterectomy that left your cervix intact or partially intact, then yes, you will need regular Pap tests.
- If you had a complete hysterectomy that included removing your cervix, AND you have no history of cancerous or precancerous cervical cells, then you will likely not need regular Pap tests.
- If you had a complete hysterectomy and you had a prior history of cervical cancer or precancerous condition, you may need to have vaginal vault or cuff smears until you have three documented normal tests in a row.
Discuss your screening needs and schedule with your healthcare provider.
We recognize that many trans men and people on the trans masculine/ female-to-male (FtM) spectrum may feel ambivalent about or distanced from the terms cervix, vagina and uterus or prefer other terms, such as “front hole.” We use these terms, recognizing their limitations but acknowledging the need for simplicity. We are also attempting to normalize the reality that men can have these body parts too.