The Facts About HPV

One of the most common sexually transmitted viruses is Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV infections are so common that according to the CDC, nearly all men and women will have at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Currently, nearly 80 million Americans are infected with some type of HPV, and about 14 million Americans become infected every year.

There are over 100 different strains of HPV. That means that while some may be completely harmless, others will increase your risk for cancer. Here are some facts about HPV including ways to prevent it.

How Is HPV Spread?

HPV is transmitted through sexual contact.

What Are The Symptoms of HPV?

The tricky thing about HPV is that some forms don’t show any signs or symptoms but can lead to cancer in the vulva, cervix, vagina, and anus. Other forms of HPV can cause genital warts or other obvious symptoms though.

Is HPV Preventable?

In short, yes. The main way to prevent HPV is by making sure you use a latex condom every single time you have intercourse. While birth control pills and other methods of birth control may help prevent pregnancy, they do not help protect against STDs like HPV. Your best method of protection from HPV is getting the series of three HPV vaccinations.

How Do You Know If You Have HPV?

The easiest way for us to determine whether you have HPV is with a regular pap smear. If you have an irregular pap smear where we do find HPV then we may perform a procedure called LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure). This procedure helps to get rid of abnormal cells caused by HPV.

As mentioned before, one of the trickiest things about HPV is that many times you won’t experience any symptoms or see signs of the virus, which means it could go untreated for years. That means, if you’re sexually active, it’s important to get pap smears regularly.

If you need to schedule a pap smear or have questions about HPV, call us today to schedule an appointment. Call 602-494-5050 for Paradise Valley or 602-468-3912 for our Biltmore office.

Posted in: STD testing

Request An Appointment

or you can log into your PATIENT PORTAL account

Quick Contact

  • * All indicated fields must be completed.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.