How to Get Tested for HPV

Find out how women can get tested for HPV, which is linked to cervical cancer and genital warts.

Medical research states that Genital Human Papilloma virus normally known as HPV is the most widespread sexually transmitted infection. It is different from HIV or Herpes. At present, there are over 40 varieties of this virus that can contaminate even an individual’s throat and mouth. Majority of people afflicted by said illness are not even aware of it. That is why HPV testing is very important. For most cases, the human immune system is capable of clearing the genital disease in two years. The infection may lead to cervical cancer, throat lumps, moles in the sex organs, and less severe cancers if not eliminated.

Tests for Men and Women

The examination is intended to detect high-risk forms of Human Papilloma that may cause cervical cancer. The procedure is like the Pap smear wherein cell samples are obtained from the cervix for analysis in the medical laboratory. However, there is currently no HPV test for men. In fact, examinations for anal cancer are not advised for males due to lack of sufficient research about this disorder. In any case, there are medical practitioners who suggest screening for possible cancer in the anus. This is limited to males found to be HIV-positive, homosexual individuals and bisexual persons. This development does not prevent you from consulting the doctor regarding the presence of warts, lesions and white blemishes around your anus, penis or scrotum.

On the other hand, it is possible to have HPV testing for females. This may be helpful in finding out if an irregular pap smear can lead to possible cancers. Women, who are scheduled for this screening, should not douche, use vaginal medication or tampons 48 hours prior to the test. You will be asked to expel urine for your comfort. The doctor will explain the importance, reason, steps and risk of the examination. Only the following can conduct this testing: family medicine practitioner, gynecologist, internist, urologist, registered nurse, and, physician assistant.

Patients need to remove clothing beneath the waist and lie down on the examination cot. You will raise both feet with the aid of foot support while the doctor checks up your reproductive tract and areas around the genitals. A medical instrument called the speculum will be inserted inside the vagina to facilitate the examination of your cervix and vaginal walls. The specialist uses a cotton swab to get cell samples. An HPV test can be performed on cell samples obtained during the woman’s Pap testing.

Purpose of the Test

The samples will be studied to see if there are high-risk HPV categories. Additional procedures such as cervical biopsy may be proposed if the earlier tests show positive results. It is also meant to confirm the existence of uncharacteristic cells in the cervix following medication for HPV infections. The United States Food and Drug Administration already gave its nod for the use of a vaccine that can protect women from nine to 26 years old against four common kinds of virus. These two varieties are said to cause 90% of warts in genital areas and 70% of cancers in the cervix.