Anal pap smear hasn’t been around nearly as long as its better-known cousin, the cervical pap smear. But although it is a newer procedure, the anal pap smear is proving its worth in a growing number of patients, helping to discover and diagnose cases of anal dysplasia and anal cancer. High risk patients that should discuss having an anal pap smear and/or a high resolution anoscopy with their proctologist are patients that have (1) anal receptive intercourse, (2) had an abnormal cervical pap smear and/or LEEP procedure, (3) history of anal, penile or vaginal condyloma or genital warts, (4) men that have had sex with other men and (5) HIV positive men or women.
Anal pap smears are generally not recommended on a regular schedule as a preventive measure, as cervical pap smears are, but their utility is unimpeachable among certain patient cohorts. As Cosmopolitan Magazine stated in a recent FAQ on the subject:
It’s gauged more by immune status, such as HIV and HPV status. In general, someone can have sex once and be exposed to high risk HPV, so you technically should probably have one if you’ve ever had anal sex. And if you increase partners, it will increase your exposure. But if you’re HPV-negative vaginally, you’ll also typically be HPV-negative anally.
If you fit these criteria, or you have another reason to suspect you may be predisposed to anal dysplasia or anal cancer, then an anal pap smear is one of the wisest medical investments you can make. Remember, many people are exposed to HPV during their first sexual encounter and it is not necessary to have had anal sex in order to be diagnosed with anal HPV and/or anal dysplasia.
At the Proctology Institute, we administer fast and accurate anal pap smears in Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach on a regular basis. To learn more about how you can prevent anal cancer with a simple screening, contact us today.