HPV Testing for Women: Important Things to Know

In 2018, sexual health is a topic that is on the mind of many teens and young adults across the US as well as the world. With record rates of infection, STI’s (sexually-transmitted infections), are becoming a scourge on our society, causing many unsuspecting young adults to fall victim. One of the biggest issues surrounding these infections is the lack of education, and resources available to our youth. By educating our teens, we can help spread the word, and make individuals more aware of certain high-risk behaviors that may be leading them down this terrible path. One of our country’s lesser-known STI’s is the human papillomavirus, or HPV as it is commonly referred to.In reality, this STI isn’t one virus at all, it is actually the name given to a group of more than 150+ sexually-transmitted, viruses! With each strain of HPV being defined by a specific number or type, about 30 or so strains are known to affect the genitals and 14 of these strains are considered life threatening.HPV is commonly characterized by a number of different symptoms, the most common of which is genital warts. For those with genital warts urgent care is important, as this can help you obtain a proper diagnosis and determine if you have contracted HPV. When they are left untreated the condition will worsen and become far more severe as time goes on. A major issue with genital warts is that the symptoms can vary based on a number of different factors, including age and gender. Dr. Alan Kling, of Kling Dermatology, considered to the be the top HPV specialist NYC has to offer, often recommends his female patients undergo HPV screening every 3-5 years, as it has become fairly common in our country. To better equip you with the knowledge needed to deal with such an issue, here is some important information to know.

Genital Warts in Women

When it comes to women, HPV and genital warts can be very dangerous and, in many cases, life threatening. HPV is a main cause of cervical cancer in women, and once you identify early signs of genital warts an HPV screening is important. When it comes to the detection of genital warts urgent care centers, hospitals, and clinics all offer some form of screening. In women, genital warts will appear around the vagina, anus, and/or the cervix. They can often vary in size and appearance as well – generally in small or large clusters, and range from a reddish in color, to white.

HPV Prevention Options

Any sexually-active woman, no matter of age, should take preventative measures against STI’s and HPV. With over a million new cases each year, prevention is just as important as testing. HPV is transmitted through sexual contact, involving areas like the mouth, anus, and genitals. The easiest form of prevention is to limit your number of sexual partners to as few as possible, and take part in committed, monogamous relationships with one individual – with both parties having been tested for STI’s. In addition to this, using condoms can also help prevent HPV somewhat, however, the virus may be present on the areas not covered by the condom and can be spread through any direct skin to skin contact.

Aside from abstaining from these sexual activities, one important form of prevention to be aware of is the HPV vaccine. The vaccine is designed to prevent you from becoming infected with the strains of HPV most likely to cause different forms of cancer, as well as genital warts urgent care centers, hospitals, and clinics will often offer this type of vaccination to women. As the top HPV specialist NYC has to offer, Dr. Kling recommends the HPV vaccine be administered at an early age and works best when given to young women during their teenage years.

HPV Testing

When it comes to screening for HPV and genital warts urgent care centers, hospitals, and clinics offer a few different options. One such test is called the pap test, which is used to find cellular changes in the cervix – these cells can be cancerous or cause cancer. During the pap test, cells are lightly scraped from the cervix and send to a lab for examination. Under a microscope you can see if there are any changes to the makeup of these cells, that points to infection. The pap test is the best means of identifying both cancerous and pre-cancerous cells along the cervix.

In addition to the pap test, there is also a separate HPV screening test, that actually checks for the HPV virus itself. This is used on its own and in conjunction with the pap test. The area of the cervix and vagina are swabbed, and send to a lab. The swab is then tested for signs of HPV infection. Using both tests together is the best way to identify pre-cancerous or cancerous HPV. If you have HPV it is important to follow the guidelines of your doctor, and adhere to treatment. For more information on HPV and HPV testing, contact the top HPV specialist NYC has to offer, Dr. Alan Kling today.