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Pap Smear New Guidelines: Does it pertain to Virgins?

By Anonymous February 24, 2011 - 7:32pm
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Hi there:
I was wondering if the new guidelines for pap smears pertain to virgins. I am a virgin in my mid 20s and I never had a pap smear. My doctor told me in the past that I did not need a pap smear because I am not sexually active. However, now my doctor told me about the new guidelines and told me that I need a pap smear. I am a little bit confused because I am still a virgin and what is the point of getting a pap smear if I do not have sex. I was just wondering if you can clairfy me this. Thanks.

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EmpowHER Guest

I am a physician and you do not need a pap smear if you are a virgin. The guidelines for starting at age 21 are just arbitrary guidelines and they are saying that it is necessary to cover their butts (people are not always truthful when they answer questions about sexual history). Cervical cancer or cervical dysplasia (where the cells are abnormal but not cancerous) happens from HPV (human papilloma virus, of which there are various types), which is contracted sexually. Males are frequently carriers of HPV. If you have not have sex, then you cannot get HPV, therefore the pap smear is not necessary.

October 20, 2017 - 11:29pm
EmpowHER Guest

A true virgin woman who has never engaged in any kind of sexual activity does not need a pap smear according to http://patientmodesty.org/virginandpapsmear.aspx.

February 10, 2013 - 9:54pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hello, i am 16 and i am a virgin. my mom said she is making me get one, but i have never had sex. what do i do? and will they tell my mom i have to wait til 21? help! i really don't want one!! ): i dont know what to say to my mom or doctor because they'll both be in the room.

May 29, 2012 - 9:30pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Actually, all recommendations indicate that NO ONE under age 21, regardless of sexual activity, should have a pap smear. Any prudent physician would refuse to do one on a 16yr old. They could suffer serious legal ramifications.

January 30, 2014 - 2:44pm
EmpowHER Guest

I was still a virgin when I went to the clinic and the nurse asked me specifically if I had sex yet, and I told her no. She told me that they wouldn't do the pap smear yet and we could wait until next time, or when I was sexually active. Maybe just ask if you can "wait til next time" or something. Good luck! If you don't feel comfortable with it, tell them.

March 5, 2011 - 12:44am

Hi Anon,

Welcome to EmpowHer and thank you for your question.
New pap smear guidelines (and old as well) do pertain to virgins. Your doctor may have told you that you didn't need one in the past because you were not sexually active and perhaps under 21 as well? Old guidelines stated that a woman should get a pap smear at the age of 21 or whenever she was sexually active--whichever came first. New guidelines state that all women 21 and over should get their first smear.

The pap smear doesn't only check for STDs-- it checks for abnormal changes of the cells in the cervix. These pap checks help prevent cervical cancer in women.

After your first pap smear, if results are normal, then you should be expecting another every 2 years.

I hope this answered your question.


February 25, 2011 - 6:40am
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