Pap smears test cells for indications of cervical cancer, but a few STDs may also be detected in abnormal pap smear results. Abnormal results are often unclear and require further testing to determine the cause.
Since HPV is the virus linked to cervical cancer, HPV may be detected through a pap smear. Pap smears can detect low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, which are slight cell changes caused by HPV infection.
Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STD, and one of the most likely to be detected by a pap smear. Pap smears show 60 percent accuracy for detecting Trichomoniasis, according to trichomoniasis.org.
Pap smears may detect Chlamydia if results show inflammation of the cells or if the cervix is noticeably inflamed.
In rare cases, pap smear results can reveal cells that have been damaged by a herpes infection. Visible sores from a herpes outbreak can be easily identified during physical exams.
Pap smears are not a reliable method for detecting STDs. Ask your health care provider for STD testing to ensure accurate results. This may involve a swab of cervical cells or a blood test.