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, ask your GP.

Total hysterectomy

This is when all of your womb and cervix are removed. After this 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.

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

The gynaecologist who carried out your hysterectomy will advise you on how often you may need a vault test.

Subtotal hysterectomy

This is a hysterectomy that left all or part of your cervix in place. After this, 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: 30/11/2016

Next review due: 30/11/2019