HPV Testing Offers Peace of Mind

What You Need to Know About HPV

A pap smear is a scraping of the surface cells of the cervix to look for abnormal cells. During this screening, the cervix is also checked for an infection with a virus called human papilloma virus, or HPV. Certain strains of HPV may lead to cervical cancer.

HPV may be spontaneously eliminated or cleared by the body in the early adult years. HPV testing is recommended for those over the age of 30, unless they are HIV positive, which increases cervical cancer rates.

If you are 30 years of age or older an HPV test can simply be added to your routine pap smear. It does not require a separate procedure.HPV vaccines also help prevent the disease in teens, young and middle aged adults and are available at NoCo Women’s Wellness.

As women grow older, HPV infections become less common, but the occurrence of cervical cancer increases. That’s why it is recommended that women 30 and older be routinely tested for infection with high-risk types of HPV. If both your PAP smear and HPV tests return negative, then you may not need another PAP smear for two to three years, although an annual pelvic exam is still strongly recommended.

The healthcare providers of NoCo Women’s Wellness are trained in the evaluation of the abnormal pap smear. We may recommend that you have a pap smear repeated at more frequent intervals. For some cervical changes a colposcopy, which is a visual evaluation with a microscope and biopsy may require a referral.

Feel free to call NoCo Women’s Wellness for an appointment.