Ask the Nurse

I have not had an internal exam by my Primary Care Physician for more than two years. The nurse practitioner told me that I don’t need one since I do not have a cervix. (I had a hysterectomy in 2007.) Isn’t there still something "below the waist" that should be examined?

This is a great question. Pap smears are no longer needed if:

  • You had your hysterectomy with removal of your cervix for benign reasons, such as fibroids.
  • Do not have a history of a high-grade precancerous lesion (like cervical intraepithelial neoplasia [CIN] grade 2 or 3).
  • Do not have a history of cervical cancer.
  • You were not exposed to DES while your mother was pregnant with you.

If you are immune compromised (e.g., HIV), you may need more screening. With all that being said, a pelvic exam is still necessary on a yearly basis.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

February 8, 2013 at 9:44am