Yes, Men Need Pap Smears Too!

Go ahead and laugh, but it’s true. Men get Pap smears too.

Not all men. Just high-risk men who have sex with men.

The female Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer, which is a sexually-induced cancer caused by the Human Papillomavirus. The Human Papillomavirus is also easily transmitted to the anus in men who have sex with men. Anal Pap smears screen for abnormal anal cells that may lead to anal cancer.

But don’t worry guys. You won’t need a large vaginal speculum for your exam. Just a small, friendly swab about the size of a Q-tip.

Now watch a LIVE Pap smear demo here:

Pamela Wible, M.D. is a family physician and author of Pet Goats & Pap Smears.

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14 comments on “Yes, Men Need Pap Smears Too!
  1. T says:

    I know this blog entry is from last year, but I’m hoping my comment (question, really) will still be seen:

    So I recently found myself wondering … I’m a married hetero woman who, several years ago, had an ASCUS pap smear with HPV reflex testing (which came back positive for one of the HPV strains that can cause cervical cancer). I had a colposcopy done, but the doctor didn’t see anything that she felt was suspicious, so no biopsies were taken, and since then all of my subsequent paps have been normal. I was told I likely cleared the HPV from my system. I continue to have pap smears every couple of years, so I feel pretty good about my situation there, BUT (no pun intended), I’ve had anal sex maybe 3-4 times in my life, all prior to the ASCUS result and HPV+. Do I need to be concerned about the possibility of HPV still being active there and possibly leading to anal cancer down the road? I think if I (as an afore-mentioned married heterosexual woman) asked my gyn for an anal pap smear, he might look at me like I’m crazy, and well, it would be a bit embarrassing to discuss it candidly with him, even though I know it shouldn’t be, so I just haven’t brought it up yet.

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      You must bring this up with your health care provider. Every case is different and guidelines are just guidelines so please provide all information and you and he/she can decide together what additional tests may be appropriate.

  2. Rick says:

    I am a gay man who is concerned about increased risk of anal cancer from HPV. When I lived in NYC, I had an excellent doctor who performed an anal pap annually. Since moving to Las Vegas, I’ve been unable to find a doctor who believes that an anal pap smear is necessary. The ones I have spoken to all say that the CDC does not recommend it or that there is “no conclusive evidence” or “no empirical data” to warrant testing. So here’s my question…

    Can you direct me to some reliable, scientific studies that advocate for routine anal pap smears in MSM? My hope is that if I present this information to my PCP, he will be more likely to change his mind about the necessity of this screening.

    Thank you!

  3. John says:

    Hi doc,
    I am a 45 year old hetero man who has been faithfully married for 17 years. Why would my doctor feel the need to do a PAP procedure at my next physical?

  4. jrg says:

    my wife told me that her doctor mention that I can have the HPV since I never stop having oral sex with her before or after her dignosis. Mi wife had her uterus removed and is having herself checked since a lump is showing on her neck. can i get tested some how?

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      Discuss your particular circumstances with your doc. There are ways to test high-risk men.

  5. Margaret AT says:

    I have hard time with my current doctor. I was think I am going to find a new doctor for Cervicall and anal pap smear after my current doctor put me very difficult time for not listen me when I said I need pap smear. she say you do not need pap smear around in 2017. I said What? Why so long?

    After I complained painful with ovary cyst for struggle to get set up an appointment for more than 4 days. and the doctor say it s is more likely appendix. I said I already have had an appendix back in 1987 and she seem not listen. later I realized I have a rectal bleed once while after bowel movement. I know I hate rectal exam issues.

    I fed up and struggle to find a new doctor due to ASL interpreter really violated of many issues at doctor office.

    I feel put stressful and thought I need pap smear and anal pap smear really urgent on me since my current doctor and thought I must leave and find a new professional with a heart and listen.


    • Margaret AT says:

      I forgot to say “I am survivor of incident back 30 years ago and thought I should have pelvic exam for pap smear and married for 24 years and need pap smear every years. she say 7 years. It is really confused about years and not necessary.. Why she made me uneasy with her opinion is really impossible accommodation.

  6. M.J says:

    Quick question
    what does abnormal glandular papanicolaou smear of anus means

  7. anonymous says:

    so I had sex with a man only 1 time in my life do I need a pap smears test it has been about 5 or 6 years ago or longer

  8. Pam says:


    My first paps came out abnormal so they tested me the following year and I came out normal, will my present partner be infected with hpv?

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