Friday, October 24, 2014
Friday, March 19, 2010 upset, Community Member, asks

Q: pap smears and trichomonas

how reliable is a routine pap in dx-ing trichomonas? no symptoms, only one partner for 20+years? My GYN says he is definitely cheating(no Joke) but he tested negative.

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Answers (2)
Paul, Community Member
3/19/10 8:53pm

As I understand it, while taking the pap smear which checks for changes in your cervical cells, infections or other problems could be found.


Trichomoniaisis is a sexually transmitted disease and is caused by a single cell parasite, if it is detected then both partners should be treated since men usually have no symptoms and thus could reinfect the woman.

Usually then, you will need a lab test to verify the presence of the parasite, in which case it would be accurate. You can check with your doctor about this.


RES94025, Community Member
4/15/10 5:14pm

Pap is not reliable for Trich diagnosis.  The fixitive used in the pap panel degrades the Trich parasite.  Two current choices for Trich dx are wet mount microscopy of a vaginal swab or a rapid diagnostic sold as the OSOM Trichomonas Rapid Diagnostic.  Both require a pelvic exam to obtain the sample.


Question the negative test of your partner.  Only current diagnostic in men is a wet mount microscopy of a urethral sample.  This is a painful test and many men will not submit to it if they are asymptomatic.  Ask to see the actual test result. Even if it is negative it is possible that the sample size was insufficient to capture enough parasite.  Typically the infection resides deep in the urethra or even the prostate, but urine and semen samples do not carry enough parasite for detection.


Since men are almost always asymptomatic your partner may have been carrying this around with him for some time.  Of interest is a recent study that shows a relationship between long term Trich infections and aggressive prostate cancers - so all men have an incentive to be tested!


Hope this helps!

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By upset, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/24/10, First Published: 03/19/10