If you're an ace with a cervix...
I’m posting this because I’ve seen this question come up a number of times in posts and comments, and there seems to be a lot of confusion and uncertainty around it.
If you are sexually active, or have been previously, you should have regular Pap tests according to the schedule recommended by your doctor.
If you are not sexually active and have never been sexually active, you may not need to have Pap tests done and you should talk to your doctor. Cervical cancer is almost always caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV infection is almost always caused by sexual (specifically, genital) contact. Because of this, if you are not sexually active and have never been sexually active, there’s a good chance your doctor will recommend that you do not need to have Pap tests done.
You do not need to tell them that you’re asexual, since this is about behavior rather than attraction or orientation.
A lot of things written about Pap tests and cervical cancer seem to assume that all people with cervixes over age 21 are or have been sexually active and they may not provide a specific recommendation in the case of a sexually non-active adult. This seems to be the source of most of the confusion and uncertainty (public health officials, may I kindly suggest not making heteronormative and sex-normative assumptions).
A Pap test is, shall we say, not the world’s most comfortable procedure and sex-averse or sex-repulsed aces may feel especially anxious about it (many of us have a specific aversion or repulsion response to the idea of having something in the vagina). So it’s worth talking with your doctor to find out if you may not need to have it done after all.
I had talked previously with my doctor about this and he had said it was not necessary. Then this week, my healthcare provider’s automated system looked at my age, gender, and medical history and flagged me as needing to have a Pap test done ASAP. I talked to my doctor again and he not only confirmed that I don’t need to have it done, but he put a special note on my record so that I don’t keep getting these reminders. It may seem a bit scary to bring it up, but it can be worth it and make your life easier.