The human papilloma virus (HPV) includes over 150 different virus types,
more than 40 of which can infect the genital region. HPV is a very common
type of sexually transmitted infection (STI) that may be transmitted through
oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse. Having HPV can be associated with
a higher risk of cervical cancer. If you have tested positive for HPV,
your gynecologist can help you understand its possible effects on your
health and your
HPV treatment options.
An HPV infection doesn’t always require treatment. If you tested
positive for HPV, yet your Pap smear was normal, your gynecologist may
recommend having these tests again in one year. Quite often, women who
test again in 12 months do not show signs of pre-cancerous changes or
HPV. If this is the case for you, your gynecologist may instruct you to
resume your normal testing schedule.
If you tested positive for HPV and your Pap test results were abnormal,
your gynecologist may recommend that you undergo additional tests. Your
doctor may perform a colposcopy, which allows him or her to examine the
cervix through magnification. Your doctor might also recommend a tissue
biopsy. Depending on the results of the additional tests, you may be referred
to a gynecologic oncologist.
It is not possible to treat the virus itself, as there is no cure. However,
a gynecologist can recommend treatment options for
problems caused by the virus. Your gynecologist can treat genital warts, for example. He or she might
also recommend the removal of the abnormal cervical cells to prevent them
from becoming cancerous later on. Your gynecologist may remove these cells
during a colposcopy. Other methods of removing abnormal cells include
cryotherapy and loop electrosurgical excision procedures (LEEP).
For HPV treatment in Washington, D.C., women can rely on the compassionate
gynecology team at Washington Surgi-Clinic. Our gynecology practice provides
comprehensive well-woman services, including first and second trimester
abortion options, STD testing, and Pap smears. Call (202) 659-9403 for