Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Will a cervical cancer evaluation also check for STDs?"
Can my pap test check for STDs? Does it only see cancer?
A pap test is only a scraping of the outer lining of the cervix, which is then analyzed under a microscope for certain concerning findings related to cancer. As such, it is not designed to check for sexually transmitted diseases, although certain findings during the physical exam portion required to obtain the sample might raise your doctor's level of concern with regards to an STD. If you are concerned about whether or not you might have an STD, there are readily available tests that can be performed either by your doctor or numerous public health clinics that are available. Additionally, you should discuss these concerns with your primary care doctor or OB/GYN, as your concerns and other behaviors are relevant to making sure that you are properly cared for. In other words, in order for your doctor to help you be healthy in the best way, openly discussing your concerns about a possible STD will allow him or her to be able to help you best. This might mean the suggestion of further testing, or it might be as simple as making sure that you have the right contraceptive choices available. Either way, please discuss your question with your physician so that you can have the right testing performed.
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