Common questions

Can a pap smear detect HPV virus?

Can a pap smear detect HPV virus?

A Pap test screens for cancer of the cervix (the passageway between the vagina and the uterus). A Pap test can also be used to screen for non-visible (subclinical) human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. The Pap test is not a specific test for HPV, although sometimes the results suggest that HPV might be present.

What does it mean if HPV is detected on Pap smear?

If you get a positive HPV test, your physician has detected one or more high risk strains of the virus on the Pap test of your cervix. If the virus stays with you for a long time, it can cause cell changes that can lead to several types of cancer.

What does it mean if you test positive for HPV?

Positive HPV test. A positive test result means that you have a type of high-risk HPV that’s linked to cervical cancer. It doesn’t mean that you have cervical cancer now, but it’s a warning sign that cervical cancer could develop in the future.

What STDs can cause an abnormal pap?

Other causes can explain why you have had an abnormal pap smear. There are other sexually transmitted infections (STI) that can be blamed, as well as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis will also cause changes in your cervical cells. All of these conditions are treatable.

What causes abnormal Pap smear results for HPV?

WHAT CAUSES AN ABNORMAL PAP SMEAR RESULT? HPV, Human Papiloma Virus, causes abnormal Pap smear results because HPV is a virus which infects skin cells. When subclinical HPV infects the skin cells in the cervix (skin cells on the cervix are called squamous cells), it causes the cells to change and become abnormal.

Can a woman with abnormal Pap smear get cervical cancer?

Most women with HPV and/or abnormal Pap smear results do not get cervical cancer. Researchers now believe that almost all cervical cancer is caused by HPV 16 and HPV 18.

When does an abnormal Pap smear result go away?

An abnormal pap smear result does not mean you have cervical cancer. High risk strains can cause more serious cellular changes. Typically, both high and low risk strains of HPV go away within 24 months.

Can a positive Pap smear lead to colposcopy?

Just the presence of HPV, in the absence of an abnormal pap, should not lead to colposcopy, unless you are high-risk HPV positive. Some women have persistently positive HPV results, even over many years, and this can increase cervical cancer risk, so it’s important to also have Pap smears if this is the case for you.

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