Human Papiloma Virus (HPV)

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.  There are many different types of HPV.  Some of which are associated with cervical changes that present as abnormalities on the pap test, and others that cause genital warts (condyloma).  Some types of HPV carry a higher risk of cervical or vulvar cancer later in life.  Abnormal pap results due to HPV may be evaluated with a minor in-office procedure called a colposcopy.  This is where we apply a solution to the cervix that dehydrates the cells and allows us to see abnormalities using a special microscope.  Based upon the look of the cervix during the colposcopy, a small biopsy may be collected to allow for a closer look at how deep the abnormality goes into the tissue of the cervix. 

Treatment

Results of the biopsy determine the next step in management, ranging from repeating a pap test to a minor in-office procedure or surgery to removing the abnormal cervical cells.   Most changes related to HPV go away on their own and can be managed with careful follow up, avoiding cigarette smoking, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Conditions we treat

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