Human Papillomavirus Testing
(HPV Testing; Testing, HPV; Testing, Human Papillomavirus)
DefinitionThis is a test to detect human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a virus 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. The cervix is located in back of the vagina. Currently, there is no test to screen men for this condition.
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Reasons for the TestThe HPV test is done if you are 21 years or older and have abnormal Pap smear results. If you are 30 years or older, your doctor may also use the HPV test along with the Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer.
Possible ComplicationsThere are no major complications associated with this test.
What to Expect
Prior to TestDo not schedule the test during your menstrual period.To be more comfortable, urinate before the test.
Description of TestYou will lie on your back. Your feet are placed in foot rests. You will be asked to let your legs fall open to the side. A medical instrument called a speculum will be gently inserted into the vagina. It opens the vagina so that the cervix can be viewed. 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.
How Long Will It Take?This test takes less than 5 minutes.
Will It Hurt?There is no pain associated with this test.
ResultsResults of the HPV test may take 2 to 3 weeks. Your doctor will talk to you about your results. Depending on the results, you may need more tests or treatments.