Facebook Pixel

Ten Things Every Woman Should Know About HPV

Rate This
Human papillomavirus (HPV) related image Photo: Getty Images

  1. In addition to cervical cancer, HPV infection accounts for approximately five percent of all cancers worldwide, according to the International Journal of Cancer. HPV can cause cancers of the anus, vulva, vagina, and penis. Oral HPV infection causes some cancers of the oropharynx (the middle part of the throat, including the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils.) Some types of HPV infection also cause genital warts.
  2. There are many myths about how people get HPV. You cannot get HPV from being unclean, from toilet seats, or from having an abortion. Also, you are not more likely to get HPV from having rough sex or sex during your period, and HPV will not affect pregnancy or the chances of getting pregnant. If HPV leads to cervical changes that need to be treated, the treatment should not affect your chances of getting pregnant, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  3. It is possible to have HPV and pass it to your partner without knowing it. If you have HPV and have been with your partner for awhile, your partner is likely to have HPV too. There is no way to know if your partner gave you HPV, or if you gave HPV to your partner, according to the CDC. HPV screening tests are recommended for women over age 30 to find early signs of cervical cancer before you ever get sick. That way, problems can be found and removed before they ever become cancer. HPV screening is different than Pap test. A Pap test screens for cancer cells and an HPV test screens for presence of the HPV virus ; however both tests can be performed during the same doctor visit.
  4. There is presently no HPV screening test for males. You may want to let your partner know that HPV is a very common virus and that most people who have sex will get HPV at some time during their lives.
  5. Women younger than 30 should not get the HPV test with the Pap test as part of their normal health visit. After age 30, HPV is much less common so screening is warranted. However, if your Pap test shows certain cell changes, your doctor may want to do an HPV test even if you are younger than 30. This is not the same as getting having the HPV test with the Pap test as part of your normal health visit.

For more information about HPV and your cancer risk, visit:
CDC, Common questions about HPV and cervical cancer. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/common-questions.htm

American Cancer Society, Thinking about Testing for HPV? http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/OtherCarcinogens/InfectiousAgents/HPV/thinking-about-testing-for-hpv

National Cancer Institute, Human Papillomaviruses and Cancer. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/HPV#r2

Parkin DM. The global health burden of infection-associated cancers in the year 2002. International Journal of Cancer 2006; 118(12):3030–3044. PubMed Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16404738

Reviewed July 14, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Alison Stanton

Lynette Summerill is an award-winning writer who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition to writing about cancer-related issues for EmpowHER, her work has been seen in newspapers and magazines around the world.

Add a Comment10 Comments

I've been told by 4 different doctors that you cannot keep passing the same strain of hpv back & forth if you are with the same partner. That it doesn't ping pong. It is possible to pass a different strain, and it is possible to carry more than one strain.

August 21, 2014 - 1:37pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am not for that vaccine thing because it has side effects that can be really serious. One friend recommended Papiloma krema, its herbal creme and it killed my warts in about month and they never returned. But my GWs were only 3 months old.

August 12, 2014 - 2:01am

Hi ,
Thanks for sharing this article.Great information to be known.You have properly covered all the information which made it easy to understand.

June 23, 2014 - 2:44am

Thank you for sharing , and highlighting more about HPV.

February 6, 2014 - 2:57pm

Thank you for increasing awareness to HPV. It is becoming so common that we need to spread awareness for it.

Marielaina Perrone DDS

October 7, 2012 - 3:36pm

In 2010 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, stage 2B, and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy, including 3 brachytherapys. After recently having a smear test and a scan, nothing has shown up. My question is, have the treatments killed the HPV virus?

October 2, 2011 - 10:46am
Blogger (reply to clickityclick)

I wish I knew the answer to your question. Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy are treatments for a specific condition as you know. I do not know their secondary effects, such as killing a virus. It's an excellent question and by now I hope you have received an answer. I'd love to know what you found out.

January 29, 2012 - 8:12pm

There is no medical treatment to cure HPV because it is a virus. There are surgical options which can risk your cervix competency should you become pregnant. There is no great treatment option I know of except a homeopathic remedy which was developed in Germany. How do I know this? I lived it.

At first I tried the traditional medical HPV treatments of freezing the cervix and laser surgery. Each time, the condition came back worse. I sought treatment from Dr. Abrahm Ber, a homeopath in Scottsdale, AZ. He gave me a 60 day remedy, I changed my diet and thought positive thoughts. That was 19 years ago and I have had normal Pap smears ever since. How does it work? I have no idea. I do know I am willing to face the embarassment of admitting to HPV because I can educate women that there is an option not utilized by Western Medicine and I know it can help.

If you are ready and willing to be open to a treatment that's different, but effective, I would highly recommend this homeopathic remedy. I WISH I remembered what it was called. Do some research and I'm sure you can find out.

Good luck!
Davina Fankhauser
President - Fertility Within Reach

July 21, 2011 - 2:27pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Fertility within Reach)

Currently, there is no cure for HPV (human pappillomavirus). However, treatment is available for the changes HPV can cause to the cervix. There is also treatment for the genital warts that are caused by HPV. The next best thing to a cure is protecting yourself by not having sex, by only having sex in a mutually monogamous relationship, or by getting the vaccine. The key is to develop a good immune system. You're able to do this through consuming particular foods, Read This Article: Diet for HPV and Genital Wart

While there is no HPV cure, there is an approved vaccine available to prevent infection. There is also treatment for the changes that the virus can cause on the cervix, as well as treatment for gennital warts.

April 17, 2012 - 9:35am
Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

For those who read your post, there is a need to clarify there is no Western Medicine that cures HPV. There are Western Medical treatments for the condition. To generally say there is no cure is disseminating inaccurate information.

From personal experience I know for a fact there is a natural remedy that does CURE HPV. Literally, the virus is gone, no side effects, and it stays away. I had several surgeries without long term success. I'm not a sales person. It has been 20 years since I took the natural remedy and don't even remember what it was called. I do know I have had zero virus and all normal annual pap exams since I took the treatment. The majority of Western Medicine health care providers will likely have no idea what this option is. I would contact a Homeopathic physician near you.

I believe in both Western and Eastern medicine. I hope you find a balance and find the care you need. Just remember, HPV can be cured!!!

May 2, 2012 - 9:48am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!