What to Know About HPV

HPV Testing & Prevention Phoenix, AZWhen it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, there is one virus in particular that many patients don’t know much about: the Human Papillomavirus or HPV. The tricky thing about HPV is that there are over 100 different strains of this virus and some of them may increase your risk for cancer. Let’s take a closer look at this virus to learn more about it and how you can prevent it.

What Are the Symptoms?

Even though some forms of HPV can cause genital warts, others don’t show any signs or symptoms which can eventually lead to cancers in the vagina, vulva, cervix, and anus.

What Causes HPV?

HPV is transmitted through sexual contact.

Can HPV Be Prevented?

The only real way to prevent against HPV is by using latex condoms every time you have intercourse. Remember that birth control pills and other forms of birth control do not prevent against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like HPV. Another way that HPV can be prevented is through a series of three HPV vaccinations that are spread about six months apart on average.

How Is It Caught?

The most common way for us to catch HPV is with a regular pap smear. If you have an irregular pap smear and we do find HPV then we may perform a procedure called LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) which gets rid of abnormal cells caused by HPV.

As previously mentioned, one of the trickiest things about HPV is that oftentimes there are no signs or symptoms of this virus which means that it may go untreated for years. If you are sexually active and haven’t had a pap smear, make sure that you contact our Camelback Women’s Health office today to schedule your pap smear.

Are you ready to learn more about HPV and what you can do to prevent it? Contact our Phoenix office today and give us a call at 602-494-5050.

Posted in: HPV Testing & Prevention

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