Human Papillomavirus Testing
(HPV Testing; Testing, HPV; Testing, Human Papillomavirus)
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.
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.
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 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.
American Cancer Society
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Sex Information and Education Council of Canada
Genital HPV infections—CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm . Updated April 2008. Accessed June 9, 2008.
HPV and abnormal cell changes. American Social Health Association website. Available at: http://www.ashastd.org/hpvccrc/abcell.html . Accessed on February 7, 2003.
HPV and men—CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/STD/hpv/STDFact-HPV-and-men.htm#testforwomen . Accessed February 20, 2008.
Human papillomavirus testing. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/handouts/389.html . Accessed on February 7, 2003.
What men need to know about HPV. Digene HPV Test website. Available at: http://www.thehpvtest.com/HPV-for-men-FAQ.html#testformen . Accessed February 20, 2008.
Last reviewed October 2009 by ]]>David L. Horn, MD, FACP]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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