HPV screening is a critical part of women's health and wellness, but many women are unfamiliar with this test. As the gynecologist at Caring for Women's Health in Greenwood, Indiana, Dr. Lori Davidson helps adults understand HPV testing and prevention so they can enjoy optimal female health and wellness. When you need HPV screening or an HPV vaccination arrange a visit.
Dr. Lori typically performs HPV screenings during your regular check-up, often the same time as a Pap smear. First, she takes a few seconds to remove a tiny sample of cells from your cervix. Next, the sample is screened for HPV.
The frequency of screenings depends on your age, medical history, and overall health. If you’re sexually abstinent, you’re not likely to have HPV and thus may not require testing. However, Dr. Lori may still recommend testing if you have a family history of cervical cancer.
Most women need Pap smears without an HPV test every three years from the ages of 21-30. From ages 31-65, you typically have an HPV test at the same time as your Pap smear.
While the guideline for Pap smears is every three years, you may be able to extend this to every five years by having an HPV test at the same time. Dr. Lori lets you know when it’s safe to stop having HPV screenings.
Depending on your risk factors and medical history, including having cervical cancer, HIV, or immune system issues, you may require more frequent HPV screenings. Sometimes Dr. Lori recommends screenings after age 65.
Since HPV is common in teens, the ideal age for girls and boys to have an HPV vaccination is age 11 or 12. Men and women up to their mid-20s can still receive this vaccine; however, you'll need three doses instead of the two given to children.
HPV treatment can vary according to your symptoms. Dr. Lori customizes an HPV treatment plan for you that may include one or more of the following:
Are you worried about HPV? Dr. Lori can help with prevention and care. Don't hesitate to make an appointment now.