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How Can My Doctor Diagnose Hpv?

How Can My Doctor Diagnose Hpv?

Although human papillomavirus is a common disease

, it is often difficult to definitively diagnose. There is no actual blood test for the HPV virus that pinpoints the presence of the disease in an individual.

However, your doctor will be able to recognize some of the health conditions that are associated with HPV, and can often surmise that HPV is the cause. In cases where HPV is causing warts or a simple skin condition, the doctor may be able to isolate evidence of the virus. Unfortunately, in the case of the development of the more serious health issues caused by HPV infection, it may be years after initial infection before either you or your doctor notice any adverse health consequences. This is why it is important to arm yourself with information about this common disease when you become sexually active, and have regular health checks through the years.

HPV Symptoms

There are more than 250 strains of HPV that have been identified at this time. Of these, most are benign and harmless, and many clear up of their own accord. You may never know the virus has taken up residence in your body. About 20 million Americans have a case of common skin warts at any time - the result of HPV infection, but these cases, although unsightly and embarrassing, are not serious and eventually clear up with a doctor's help. Other strains - specifically Types 6 and 11 - are sexually transmitted diseases that cause genital warts. These are also benign, and although they may be extremely persistent and difficult to control, they won't do your health serious harm.How Can My Doctor Diagnose Hpv?

However, the few strains that are most harmful are most dangerous because you will often see no symptoms. But these types can lead to cancers of the cervix, anus, vulva, throat and neck. These strains are all sexually transmitted; the sure-fire way to avoid these is abstinence, but practicing safe sex religiously will protect you to a great extent from contracting these strains. There are some simple guidelines:

Condoms will protect you, but not 100% of the time.

HPV is passed through anal and oral sex, as well as through vaginal.

The more partners you have, the higher your chance of catching HPV from someone.

If your partner says they don't have HPV, they are being untruthful; there is no way to know for certain whether they do or not. So safe sex is always a must!

HPV can be harmful to men as well as women, especially men who routinely engage in oral sex or anal sex. Gays are particularly at risk statistically.

HPV Treatments

There are vaccines approved for women that protect against the strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer - about 70% of cervical cancers originate with HPV infection. Women should have routine pap smears as soon as they become sexually active, and through the years. Cervical cancer, when found early, is highly treatable, but untreated it can kill. Taking good care of your health can assure that whether or not you have contracted the disease, you will be safe in the long run.

by: Michelle Anderson
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How Can My Doctor Diagnose Hpv?