How often do I need a pap test?
Pap tests may not be required every year. However, pelvic exams should be performed yearly at a well-woman visit, as should breast exams. If your provider sees any abnormalities on your cervix, a pap smear can be performed at that time.
How can I protect myself from getting HPV?
There are 2 main ways to prevent HPV infection. The first way to prevent HPV infection is through consistent condom use. The second way to prevent HPV is through vaccination. The Gardasil vaccine is readily available and can be given to both men and women ages 9-26. It is most effective when given prior to beginning sexual activity. It is recommended that girls aged 11-12 years old are vaccinated; however, you may be vaccinated up until age 26 and still receive some benefits.
How do I get rid of HPV?
There is no medication available that can get rid of HPV from your cervix. Your body typically clears the HPV infection within a few years; but there are some people who are unable to clear the infection. This typically occurs when their immune system is weakened.
What is HPV and how do you get it?
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is common virus that is spread from person to person through skin-to-skin contact, typically through sexual intercourse, which can be vaginal, anal or oral. There are certain types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, others cause genital warts.
HPV infection usually has no symptoms and can stay hidden within your body for long periods of times. There is no way for medical professionals to know how long you’ve had HPV.
What is a Pap test?
A pap test is a screening test to find abnormal cells of the cervix that may lead to cervical cancer. Abnormalities are typically caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The test is performed by taking a small sample of cells which are sent to a lab for evaluation.