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"Which STDs can be detected by a pap smear?"
I got a pap smear recently, and probably should have told my gynecologist that I'm worried I have an STD. If she saw anything abnormal, she didn't say anything. Do pap smears test for STDs, or do you have to get a completely separate test?
Pap smears are performed as a screening test to look at the cells from the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. These tests can detect abnormal cells that have the potential to transform into cervical cancer, a process that is linked to infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in this country.
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The Pap smear itself does not detect any other sexually transmitted diseases. During the Pap smear, your doctor may choose to collect samples of the fluid around the cervix to test for Gonorrhea or Chlamydia. Other tests that your doctor may choose to perform as part of a standard STD screen include urine testing for Gonorrhea or Chlamydia, and blood testing for HIV, Hepatitis B, and syphilis. If you have had new sexual partners and are concerned about sexually transmitted diseases, you should have a discussion with your primary care doctor regarding the need for testing and the best way to protect yourself from the transmission of diseases.
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