Trans men & cervical cancer

I kind of put off getting a Pap test. And my family doctor told me that as long as I’m not sleeping with men, I don’t need it. And I knew he wasn’t right. But I kind of pretended I didn’t know that so that I didn’t have to go. I put it off for eight years. And just when I got on hormones, the endocrinologist kind of looked at me and just said, “This isn’t acceptable.” Like, “You need to have one at this point.” Rhys

*Cervical cancer. It’s not something that any of us like to think about, but for many trans men and people on the transmasculine/female to male/FtM gender spectrum, cervical cancer screening comes with particular concerns.

It can be hard to make cervical screening a priority, especially if it's uncomfortable even thinking about having a cervix. Maybe you’re concerned that you may experience transphobia at the screening facility. Perhaps you’re worried that having a Pap test could be uncomfortable or upsetting, or that it could make gender dysphoria worse. Or, maybe you just don’t want to think about cancer.

But if you’re a trans guy age 21 or older who has ever had sex  — with anyone — then you need to get screened for cervical cancer if you have a cervix. Screening means finding cancer before there are any noticeable symptoms by getting a Pap test every three years. Regular screening is the best way of preventing cervical cancer or finding it early, when treatment is most effective. Anyone with a cervix can get cervical cancer. The good news is that a simple, three-minute Pap test can save your life.

So, is it worth the hassle and discomfort? The answer is yes. Because your health is worth it. Because your body is worth it. Because screening saves lives.

*A note on terminology: On this website, we refer to some body parts, including the cervix, vagina and uterus, in order to discuss cervical cancer. We do recognize that many trans men and people on the trans masculine/ female-to-male (FtM) spectrum may feel ambivalent about or distanced from these terms or prefer other terms, such as “front hole.” We minimize our use of these terms wherever possible, while also acknowledging and attempting to normalize the reality that men can have these body parts too.