If you were born with a vagina, 23 and over and have not changed your social security number, you will routinely be called in for a smear test every three years to find out if there have been any cell changes in your cervix.
You will receive this notice to attend a smear test, every 3-5 years. It may seem like a hassle or an inconvenience to go for smear tests, but you’re called so that you can have a better overview of your health. Many women who have sex with women choose not to go to these smear tests because they think them unnecessary, but HPV can easily be transmitted between women too. Remember, whether you have sex with men or not, these tests are an important way of helping you keep an eye on your health.
The smear tests are carried out at gynaecology clinics and young people’s health centres, and the samples are taken by scraping a small speculum, cotton bud or brush against the cervix. The test takes just a couple of minutes, it’s painless and also free of charge. If the tests show cell changes, they will be followed up to assess the need for treatment. In some cases, cell changes can lead to cancer, so it is important to participate in testing.
Trans men are not routinely called to smear testing, since they have male legal gender and personal number. If you are a trans man and have a uterus, it is a good idea for you to seek smear testing on your own initiative.