Myth #7 You don't need a Pap Smear if you've never had sex


False: You need a Pap Smear test starting at age 21, regardless of your sexual activity status!


A Pap Smear tests for abnormal cells that could turn into cervical cancer, and even lifelong virgins can develop cancer.


Sexual activity can increase your risk of developing cervical cancer if you are exposed to certain high risk types of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). HPV is a type of STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection). But if you never have sex, it does not mean you can never get cervical cancer.


Please go see your doctor or women's care provider when you turn 21 years old to talk through your options. A Pap Smear test can be scary, especially if you've never experienced any sexual activity, but a sensitive provider can take you through the process gently (and you can even ask for them to use smaller tools).





    Dr. Tong (Toni) Liu, MD 
    Former Gynecologist, Sex Educator, Coach