- HPV is the most common STI in the US with over 200 strains. Only some can cause health problems.
- There is a link between cervical cancer and HPV infections but only 10-20% of females display infections that are persistent which is the prerequisite for cervical carcinogenesis.
- 80-90% of females who get HPV infections clear up and are transient. Typically this occurs within 24 months of detection.
- There are many cofactors that account for the HPV infection’s persistence which include: high parity, quantity of sex partners, smoking, genetics, co-infection with others STIs such as herpes and Chlamydia.
What Is the Course Of Action For High-Risk HPV?
High-risk HPV can result in aberrant cell alterations that may eventually cause cancer. If your Pap test results are abnormal, you may require additional testing and treatment, such as:
- Colposcopy is a technique to examine the cervix more carefully to check for precancerous cells.
- Cervical cryotherapy, a procedure to freeze and eliminate precancerous cells.
- Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP), is a procedure that uses an electrical current to remove precancerous cells from the cervix.
Can HPV Be Cured?
There is no HPV cure. Many things you can be done to stay healthy, safe, and even avoid getting it. Vaccines can protect against genital wart-causing and high-risk HPV strains. In most instances, your body’s immune system will fight off the HPV infection before it causes major health issues or even makes you aware that you are infected. The best strategy to avoid cervical cancer is to identify abnormal cell changes by getting routine Pap tests and HPV tests for the high-risk forms of HPV that can ultimately result in cancer. As of 2023, there is only one natural immune building HPV supplement with AHCC Phase II Clinical Study showing meaningful benefits.
How To Get An HPV Test
At your doctor’s office, a community health center, the health department, or a nearby Planned Parenthood health facility, you can get Pap and HPV tests. A Pap and/or an HPV test are included in wellness examinations, if necessary. Your age, medical history, and the outcomes of your most recent Pap or HPV test will determine how frequently you should be tested. Your doctor will advise you on the appropriate testing times and procedures.
You normally have to ask for testing for additional STDs at your OB/GYN visit or routine checkup. Tell your nurse or doctor about your sex life so they can advise you on the most appropriate testing. Do not be ashamed; your doctor is there to assist you, not to pass judgment.