A member asked:

Does a pap smear accurately show trichamonas vaginalis.. my doctor said i have it but my partner does not. how is this possible?

4 doctors weighed in across 2 answers

It often is accurate: If a pap smear shows trichomonas it is often correct, but an office exam with a microscopic wet smear may be helpful for the diagnosis. Trichomonas is a free-living one-celled organism that can live anywhere there is moisture; it can be transmitted through casual contact with bodies of water or any moist object. It is therefore possible that you may have it and your partner does not.

Answered 9/28/2016

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No: Pap smears are inadequate for diagnosis of trichomoniasis, because this technique has inadequate sensitivity and false positive results are common. Observation of motile trichomonads on wet mount is diagnostic, but they may not be seen, in which case culture may be warranted. If you are diagnosed with trich, your male partner should be treated as well. Avoid sex until both of you have been treated.

Answered 8/30/2016

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