Do I need a cervical screening test if I've had a hysterectomy?

It depends on what type of hysterectomy you've had.

If you're not sure whether you need cervical screening after your hysterectomy, seek advice from your GP.

Total hysterectomy

If you've had your womb and cervix removed (total hysterectomy), you will no longer need a cervical screening (smear) test.

However, if your womb or cervix were removed to prevent or treat cancer, you may need another test called a vault smear. In this test, a sample of cells is taken from your vagina, close to where the cervix used to be.

The vault smear is part of the follow-up treatment after your hysterectomy. It is not part of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

Subtotal hysterectomy

If you've had a hysterectomy that left all or part of your cervix in place (subtotal hysterectomy), you will still need a regular cervical screening (smear) test.

Read more information about having a hysterectomy, including how it's performed and what the operation involves.

Read the answers to more questions about women's health.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 03/11/2014

Next review due: 02/11/2016