A Pap smear, likewise called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear involves gathering cells from your cervix — the lower, narrow end of your uterus that’s at the top of your vaginal area.
Spotting cervical cancer early with a Pap smear provides you a higher possibility at a treatment. A Pap smear can likewise find changes in your cervical cells that suggest cancer might develop in the future. Discovering these unusual cells early with a Pap smear is your first step in stopping the possible development of cervical cancer.
Why is a Pap Smear Done?
A Pap smear is utilized to screen for cervical cancer.
The Pap smear is typically performed in conjunction with a pelvic exam. In women older than age 30, the Pap test may be integrated with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV)– a common sexually transmitted infection that can trigger cervical cancer. Sometimes, the HPV test may be done instead of a Pap smear.
Can a Pap Test Detect STD?
No. Pap tests, likewise called Pap smears, try to find any cell changes in your cervix, which could result in cervical cancer. Cell changes are frequently triggered by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is an STD. However, Pap evaluates the only test for the cell changes, not whether you have HPV.
If you want to be tested for STDs, ensure to ask for it straight. Also, bear in mind there’s no such thing as getting a general STD test that checks for everything. You ought to talk with your doctor or nurse about your sexual history, and together you can find out which STDs you must be evaluated for.
What STIs Should You Be Tested for?
There are many different STIs. To find out which ones you need to be evaluated for, talk with your physician. They may motivate you to be tested for one or more of the following:
- human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- liver disease B.
How are STI (STD) Tests Performed?
Depending upon your sexual history, your medical professional may order a range of tests to inspect you for STIs, including blood tests, urine tests, swabs, or physical exams.
Blood and urine tests
Most STIs can be evaluated for using urine or blood samples. Your medical professional can buy urine or blood tests to look for.
In many cases, urine and blood tests are not as precise as other types of screening. It might also take a month or longer after being exposed to particular STIs for blood tests to be dependable. If HIV is contracted, for example, it can take a couple of weeks to a couple of months for tests to detect the infection.
Numerous doctors use vaginal, cervical, or urethral swabs to check for STIs. If you are female, they can use a cotton applicator to take vaginal and cervical swabs during a pelvic examination. If you are male or female, they can take urethral swabs by inserting a cotton applicator into your urethra. If you have anal sex, they may likewise take a rectal swab to look for infectious organisms in your rectum.
Pap smears and HPV testing
Strictly speaking, a Pap smear is not an STI test. A Pap smear is a test that tries to find early signs of cervical or anal cancer. Women with persistent HPV infections, particularly infections by HPV-16 and HPV-18, are at an increased threat of developing cervical cancer. Women and men who engage in anal sex can also establish anal cancer from HPV infections.
A normal Pap smear outcome says absolutely nothing about whether you have an STI. To check for HPV, your doctor will order a separate HPV test.
An abnormal Pap smear outcome doesn’t always mean that you have or will get, cervical or anal cancer. Numerous irregular Pap smears fix without treatment. If you have an irregular Pap smear, your medical professional might suggest HPV testing. If the HPV test is unfavorable, it is not likely that you will develop cervical or anal cancer in the future.
HPV tests alone aren’t very beneficial for predicting cancer. About 14 million Americans agreement HPV each year, and the majority of sexually active people will get at least one type of HPV eventually in their lives. The majority of those people never establish cervical or anal cancer.
Some STIs, such as herpes and genital warts, can be detected through a combination of health examination and other tests. Your medical professional can perform a physical exam to search for sores, bumps, and other signs of STIs. They can likewise take samples from any questionable areas to send to a lab for screening.
It is important to let your doctor know if you have observed any changes on or around your genital areas. If you engage in anal sex, you need likewise to let them understand about any changes on or around your rectum and anus.