Can you have HPV and it not show up on a Pap smear?

Can you have HPV and it not show up on a Pap smear?

In reality, many HPV-positive women will never have an abnormal pap smear. Having said that, frequent screening with your physician is the only approach to monitor any changes in the cervix that may develop to cervical cancer.

What do pap smears show?

Cervical cancer is detected with a Pap smear. A pelvic exam is frequently performed in combination with the Pap smear. The Pap test may be paired with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer, in women over the age of 30. Women without any symptoms of illness should have a Pap test every three years starting at age 21 or when they start having sexual partners. Women who have had more than one child may need to have the test done more often depending on their risk factors.

The Pap test looks at changes that occur during an examination of the cervix. These changes may indicate disease development if they are caused by HPV or other problems if not. The Pap test is very accurate for detecting diseases such as cancer of the cervix. It can also detect some other problems such as inflammation from HIV or HSV infections and other disorders.

A Pap smear cannot find all abnormalities of the cervix. Some require surgery while others can be seen only with an ultrasound. The same sample of cells used for the Pap test may also be sent for further testing at a lab. If cancer is found during these tests, treatment will be different than for women who do not have any evidence of disease.

Women should discuss their history with their healthcare provider before having the test. This includes questions about previous exams, treatments, and sexual habits.

At what age can you stop having Pap smears?

After the age of 65, most women who have not been diagnosed with cervical cancer or precancer can discontinue undergoing Pap screenings if they have had three negative tests in the previous ten years. These tests include: PAP tests, HPV tests, and cervical biopsies.

Women who have never been tested or who have never had a negative test result should continue to follow this advice regardless of their age.

It is important to remember that even though Pap tests are very effective in detecting early changes on the cervix, they do not detect all cases of cervical cancer. Women need to be aware of this fact and understand that it is possible to get other types of cancers of the female reproductive system without having been detected through screening tests. Cervical cancer remains an important health problem for women, but it can be prevented through regular screenings tests.

What could be the results of a Pap smear?

The outcome of a Pap test might be normal, ambiguous, or abnormal. A positive or negative HPV test result is possible. The Pap test (or Pap smear) checks for precancers, which are cell abnormalities in the cervix that might progress to cervical cancer if not treated properly.

A normal Pap test results means there is no evidence of disease. An abnormal result requires further testing - usually followed by more frequent Pap tests over time to see whether the problem persists or goes away.

A Pap test is painless and easy to do at home. There is no risk of infection from the test itself. A physician or nurse will take a sample of cells from the cervix using a brush and microscope. Women can also collect their own samples. It takes only a few minutes and there is little chance of contamination.

Women should discuss with their physicians how often they should get screened for cervical cancer. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all women aged 21 to 65 years old who have never been diagnosed with cancer receive at least one Pap test per year. Those who have had five or more children or are older than 70 years old may need screening every three years instead. All women who have had a previous diagnosis of cervical cancer should continue to follow their doctors' recommendations for their specific type of cancer treatment.

Screening helps find problems early when they are most likely to be cured.

About Article Author

Kathryn Frisby

Kathryn Frisby is a public health expert who works to improve the health of people through better policies and practices. She has experience in both developing countries where health care is limited, and in industrialized nations where health care is available at all times.

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