Medical Questions > Womens Health > Sexual Health - Women Forum

Difference between pap smear and std test ?

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is there a difference? what about a physical? are all those the same?
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replied October 2nd, 2009
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lcsj09...great question...

A routine pap is just that...routine to check for any changes. Uncertain if a STD check is included (unless let's say your doctor sees something out of the ordinary that one might think is an STD while doing a routine pap)

However if you present yourself to your provider that you think that you have contracted an STD...a pap and / or blood work is done to check for certain STD's.

I'm not 100% certain. It would be best if you contact your doctor for clarification.

Zig
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replied October 2nd, 2009
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A routine pap smear should check for cancer. If you need them to analyze the sample for other things, you will need to mention this to your doctor before your exam.
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replied October 2nd, 2009
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Also, a pap smear checks for abnormal, precancerous, or cancerous cervical cells. It specifically looks for any changes that may indicate cervical cancer. Basically, the gynecologist swipes your cervix with a Q tip and sends it off to the lab. There, the Q tip is wiped on a slide and examined under a microscope. If the cells look normal, there is nothing else done. If the cells are abnormal, precancerous, or cancerous, you will be notified by the doctor's office and probably scheduled for a colposcopy. A colposcopy is a procedure in which the doctor biopsies or removes a small sample of your cervix for further study. I had one two years ago. I felt a harsh pinch and had some moderate cramping after the procedure. But it was not a bad experience or anything to fear.
As other people posted, you must specifically request that the doctor test for STDs.
A physical is pretty much the same for men and for women and consists of a weight, height check, and blood pressure check. The doctor will probably listen to your heart with a stethoscope. Your reflexes may be checked with a tiny hammer. The doctor may opt to do some blood work and/ or urine test to check for cholesterol or diabetes... If there is anything of concern on the family/ medical history you fill out prior to your examn or if there is anything revealed during the exam that concerns the doctor (such as excessive weight), the doctor may ask you about it: smoking, a family history of a certain disease... The doctor will also ask if there is a specific reason for the visit, if you have any problems. For instance, you may want to go on birth control or you may have an ache or pain that needs to be checked out...
I hope this gives you a better idea of the three procedures.
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