November 11, 2002
Sonji Lynn Trent, director of education and training for Planned Parenthood of Southeast Michigan, said she often has to correct young adults who think they cannot contract an STD through oral sex or during their first sexual encounter. Another common misconception among women is that an annual gynecological exam will detect STDs. Some doctors may do screening in addition to the Pap smear test as part of an annual exam, but there is no standardized battery of tests automatically performed to rule out all STDs.
At UMHS, women who know little about their partner's sexual history are often screened for STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, Pearlman said. Women typically have to ask for further testing, unless they test positive for those two STDs. Women who have had more than one sexual partner in the last year or women who have one STD or dont know their sex partner well should be screened for other STDs, he said.
Women who come to PPSM for an annual exam are automatically given a Pap smear as well as screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia. If either test is positive, or if their sexual history points to risky behaviors, doctors typically screen for other STDs, such as syphilis. Screenings for HIV are also done at a patients request.