LGBTQIA+: Transgender Women & Cervical Cancer

As a transgendered woman, you might not have thought about Pap tests or cervical cancer. And if you have not thought of it, it does make sense. Of course, in order to get cervical cancer, one would need to have a cervix. A cervix is the organ that connects the vagina to the uterus.

If you are a transgendered woman and you have not yet had your bottom surgery, you are not at risk for cervical cancer.

That said, if you are a trans woman who has had bottom surgery to create a vagina, which is also called a vaginoplasty, and possibly a cervix as well, there is a small risk that you could develop cancer in the tissues of your neo-vagina or your neo-cervix. This risk level truly depends on the type of surgery you had, the type or types of tissue used to create your vagina and/or cervix, and your overall health history.

If you are unsure if you should be having these screenings regularly, do not hesitate to ask your medical care team, or your advocate if you are too uncomfortable to ask yourself. It can feel vastly different to make cancer screenings a priority in your medical world, especially if you have not been focusing on these issues to date. There is not a lot of information out there for transgendered woman and the risks for cervical cancer and other vaginal issues that can arise.

The most important take away here is that if you are a transgendered woman who has had their bottom surgery, discuss your personal risk for cancer in your neo-vagina or neo-cervix with your medical care provider. They will help you to determine the best plan of action, and routine for screenings.

If you are facing any sort of discrimination, or transphobia from your medical professionals. If you feel like you are being discriminated against, do not wait to report this behavior, and find a new medical practice to handle your care. If you are feeling stuck and unable to find an open, inclusive provider, reach out to the National LGBT Cancer Network for help and direction.

Resources Used:

Reclaiming Intimacy

Canadian Cancer Society

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