01/03/2013 12:05 EST | Updated 03/05/2013 05:12 EST

Unneeded Pap tests are commonly done on women who had hysterectomies, CDC study says

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Many women don't need to be screened for cervical cancer after a hysterectomy, but a new study says most get the test anyway.

A government survey released Thursday shows about 60 per cent of women with hysterectomies recently had a Pap test.

For years, experts have said there's no need to screen women who had a total hysterectomy for reasons other than cancer. A total hysterectomy removes the uterus and cervix.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed thousands of women ages 30 and older who had a hysterectomy. Those who recently had Pap tests fell from 73 per cent in 2000 to 59 per cent in 2010.

Experts say some tests may have been warranted, but the others were probably done because Paps have long been part of annual doctor visits.