Womens Health

New and Improved Pap Smear Test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

The Pap smear (also called Papanicola test, Pap test, cervical smear, or smear test) has long been the golden standard for testing for and successfully detecting cervical cancer in women. Unfortunately, the scenario has been quite different in the case of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, two of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States.

Since Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are often asymptomatic, they can go unrecognized, undiagnosed, and untreated. Untreated Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections can give rise to severe complications for both men and women, including: PID, infertility, ectopic or tubal pregnancy; chronic pelvic pain; scarred urethra, epididymitis, and HIV/AIDS. Given their severity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called for expanded testing for STDs in all sexually active individuals.

There's a New Pap Smear in Town!

A major technological improvement is now on the scene with the development of liquid-based or thin-prep technology. The Thin-Prep Pap Test is not only the most sensitive and accurate Pap test to date in detecting precancerous cervical cells, but it has now also been FDA-approved to test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Indeed, when the Thin-Prep Pap Test is combined with the Thin-Prep Imaging System, even more disease is able to be detected.

How Thin-Prep Pap Technology Test Works

In the conventional Pap smear test, a doctor takes a cell sample and smears it onto a glass slide to be sent to the lab. The Thin-Prep Pap Test is a liquid-based Pap test, which means that the sample is sent to the laboratory in a liquid solution, which better preserves the sample.

Furthermore, a key benefit of the Thin-Prep Pap Test is its ability to perform additional testing from the same Pap test sample - that is, to test for the STDs Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Thus from only one sample, this Pap test can screen for several diseases at once.

How the Thin-Prep Imaging System Works

The Thin-Prep Imaging System is a computer system designed to scan the cells on the Pap test slide in order to identify abnormal cells. This then helps the laboratory professionals to better focus their examination on the cells that require the most attention and thereby better detect a problem.

This means that each Pap test is screened twice - first by the computer, and then by a lab specialist. Known as "dual screening," this has greatly increased the accuracy of Pap tests to detect and diagnose cancer and STDs.

Benefits of the Thin-Prep Pap Test:

- Additional testing from a single Pap sample

- Better sample preservation

- Increased disease detection

- Doctor can collect fewer samples

- Tests for cervical cancer

- Tests for Chlamyida

- Tests for Gonorrhea

- More reliable diagnoses

- Cost effective

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