microscope next to pap smear test tube and swab

Does a Pap Smear Test for STDs?

For a lot of women, an annual pap smear or Well Woman Exam, might be the only time they discuss their sexual health with a medical professional. Gynecologists are physicians specializing in female reproductive health—including sexually transmitted diseases.

When it’s time for your annual pelvic exam, do gynecologists test for STDs? The answer is yes. If your gynecologist does not suggest an STD test, feel empowered to discuss STD testing and ask for a test if it makes sense for your situation.

What STDs Are Tested During a Pap Test?

A pap test or pap smear is a medical test that detects the presence of precancerous cells on the cervix as a way to prevent cervical cancer. Its main purpose is not to screen for sexually transmitted diseases however, human papillomavirus (HPV), can be detected during a pap smear.

A separate testing method is required to screen for sexually transmitted diseases.

Below are the STDs that can be screened for during your annual visit:

  • Herpes
  • Syphilis
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis
  • Trichomoniasis
  • HIV

Will I Know if I Have an STD during an Annual Gynecologist Appointment?

Unless you are actively showing symptoms or displaying genital warts or sores, your gynecologist will not be able to determine during your visit if you have an STD.

You will have to wait to receive your test results to learn if you have an active STD infection.

Can Gynecologists Provide Treatment for STDs?

Yes. Gynecologists are highly trained and specialized in all things female reproductive health, including sexually transmitted diseases. If you do test positive for an STD, they are equipped to treat you or refer you to the appropriate resource to make sure you’re getting the treatment you need.

Other Ways to Screen for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Fortunately, there are many options for STD testing. Choosing the best option for you is what matters most. Let’s discuss the variety of options for STD testing.

  • At-Home Tests
    These tests are usually ordered online or over the phone and then delivered to your home or picked up from a pharmacy. This option is attractive to people who are nervous about going to a facility for STD testing, although the accuracy of these tests is often questioned.
  • Primary Care Physician
    STD testing can be done by your primary care physician during an office visit. You must request the specific STD test you require and schedule an appointment to get tested.
  • Emergency Room
    Visiting the ER for STD testing is a viable option for people who have privacy concerns or are actively showing symptoms and want quick results.
  • Online Options
    Online options are popular when the individual’s privacy and accuracy of the test are priorities. Tests are chosen and ordered online, and an appointment is set, often the same day, at your nearest testing facility.

Purchase and Schedule STD Tests Online with Priority STD Testing

For women who are sexually active and who have reached puberty, maintaining a regularly scheduled OB/GYN appointment is critical to your reproductive health, especially in preventing cervical cancer.

However, if you do not want to wait to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist for STD screening, Priority STD Testing is an excellent option to get the same quality care, but for a fraction of the cost and fraction of the time.