The human papillomavirus (HPV) is so common that it affects nearly every sexually active man and woman in the United States at some point in their lives. HPV can be harmless in some instances but certain strains of the virus cause warts or cervical cancer in women. That’s why OB/GYN physicians Luis DeLeon Usuga, MD, and Isamarie Lora-Alcantara, MD, offer HPV screening tests at Dr. DeLeon's Woman's Health Care in Rowlett, Texas. Call to schedule an HPV screening today.
HPV, or the human papillomavirus, is a virus that’s spread through sexual activity and can lead to genital warts or abnormal cervical cells. It might also cause cancer of the:
More than 150 strains of HPV exist, but not all are associated with symptoms or are cancer-causing.
HPV is spread when the virus enters your body through sexual intercourse including vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It can also be spread through close genital skin-to-skin contact, even in the absence of sexual activity. Oral sex can cause oral or upper respiratory lesions.
An HPV test detects the presence of human papillomavirus. Your doctor might recommend this test if a pap test was abnormal or you are 30 or older and sexually active. The test is only available to women and is often completed at the same time as a pap test, which is a screening test that detects abnormal cells and cervical cancer.
During an HPV test, which takes just a few minutes, you lie on your back on an exam table. Your doctor inserts a speculum into your vagina to hold vaginal walls apart, and takes a sample of cervical cells using a flat scraping tool and soft brush. The procedure isn’t painful.
After an HPV test, you can resume normal activities right away. Your doctor sends your sample to a lab to determine if you have an HPV strain associated with cervical cancer. If your cervix contains abnormal cells, your doctor might remove the cells during a subsequent procedure. She can also remove genital warts caused by HPV infection.
You can reduce your risk of HPV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by avoiding sexual activity or only having sex with one monogamous partner. The HPV vaccine significantly lowers your risk as well. Using condoms during sexual activity reduces your risk of STIs, but doesn’t fully protect you from HPV.
To schedule an HPV screening test, schedule an appointment with Dr. DeLeon's Woman's Health Care by phone today.