HPV Testing for Women

November 1, 2009 by admin 

Women, get a pap smear and an HPV test at your next opportunity. Do not put it off or deem it unnecessary.Sorry if we seem a bit militant on this front. All men have to worry about when it comes to HPV is the problem of dealing with an ugly infection. In women, HPV can be fatal.It is estimated that cervical cancer affects 473,000 women every year, killing 253,500 women. Most of these cases are directly linked with genital HPV.To put that in perspective, breast cancer kills about 519,000 women a year. Breast cancer gets a lot of media attention because of its high casualty rate, but efforts against HPV and cervical cancer have not enjoyed the same amount of attention, and this has led many women to neglect regular testing.The major problem here tends to be the misconception that HPV means Genital Warts. Several strains of HPV can lead to Genital Warts, but the types that can lead to cervical cancer do not show any visible symptoms whatsoever, and can only be effectively identified by a pap smear.In that few men have ever died of HPV related conditions, men can more easily get away with saying “I trust my partner, I’m safe”, but this is not an option for women. Remember that when you have sex with a new partner, you are having sex with everyone they have ever had sex with. Your boyfriend or husband may have been tested negative for HPV, but, again, the types of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer show absolutely no visible signs, and would be nearly impossible to detect in men.Apologies for the “preachy” tone being employed here, but the fact remains that there are no safe bets when you’re betting with your life. You cannot be one hundred percent certain that you’re free and clear until you’ve been tested.Are pap smears inconvenient, uncomfortable, and embarrassing? Of course they are, but they save lives.As for the visible HPV types, the types which result in Genital Warts, here are the steps to take when considering being tested…1-    Self inspectionWhen you have a chance, during a shower, before bed, whenever you can, check yourself for any abnormal bumps or lesions on or around your genitals. If you see even the slightest thing out of place…2-    Talk to your doctorIt may wind up being nothing, but you won’t know for sure without your gynaecologist or physician’s input. If it does wind up being HPV…3-    Take the appropriate stepsDon’t sleep on it, just get your hands on something from the pharmacy right away. Catching HPV early means you can nip it in the bud, so act fast.Beyond that, just remember that testing and treating HPV is important, but not as important as preventing HPV. Always practice safe sex, always use latex condoms with a new partner, and check yourself regularly to make sure you’re safe. In short, don’t take any chances with your health or your life.


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