Definition

This is a test to detect human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a virus that can be spread by sexual contact. Certain types of HPV increase your risk of getting cervical cancer . HPV is also the cause of genital warts.

The HPV test is approved to detect some types of HPV on a woman's cervix (back of the vagina). Currently, there is no test to screen men for this condition.

Cervix

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What to Expect

Prior to Test

Do not schedule the test during your menstrual period.

To be more comfortable, urinate before the test.

Description of Test

You will lie on your back with your legs spread. Your feet are placed in foot rests. A medical instrument, called a speculum, will be gently inserted into the vagina. It opens the vagina so that the doctor can view the cervix. A swab will be inserted into the vagina. The swab will be used to wipe the walls of the cervix. The swab will then be sent to the lab. This test is most often performed at the same time you are having a pap smear.

After Test

You will be able to leave after the test is done.

How Long Will It Take?

Less than five minutes

Will It Hurt?

There is no pain associated with this test.

Results

Results of the HPV test may take 2-3 weeks. Your doctor will talk to you about them. Depending on the results, you may need more tests or treatments.

Call Your Doctor

After the test, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Foul vaginal odor, pain, or unusual vaginal discharge
  • Severe abdominal pain or swelling
In case of emergency, call 911 .