Looking to get your annual Pap smear or want information to avoid the possible consequences of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection-related cancers and diseases? Contact Dr. Li Fan at Obstetrics & Gynecology Li Fan MD, INC in Rancho Bernardo, Poway, California. Dr. Fan offers cervical cancer screening exams and preventive vaccinations against HPV. To learn more about sexually transmitted infections and the vaccination schedule, call or click to schedule an appointment today.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of about 150 viruses named for the warts (papillomas) some HPV strains cause. It’s the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. For most people, it clears up by itself, but in some, it can cause cancer and other diseases.
Intimate skin-to-skin contact transmits HPV, and you can get the infection by having oral, anal, or vaginal sex with an infected person. You can get infected even if your partner doesn’t show any signs or symptoms.
Unlike other STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia, which cause vaginal discharge, most women with HPV do not have any symptoms. Hence, a regular Pap smear beginning at age 21 is recommended.
Most people infected with HPV will not exhibit any symptoms of the disease, and it clears up by itself in two years. In others It causes:
HPV can be prevented by practicing safe sex and being in a monogamous relationship. The other way is to get vaccinated before you are sexually active. The vaccines offer protection against a few types of HPV.
You still need to undergo regular Pap smears even if you’ve completed your vaccination schedule. If you have an abnormal Pap result, Dr. Fan will plan a colposcopy to examine your cervix. She also performs a colposcopy-guided biopsy to rule out any precancerous or cancerous lesions.
Dr. Fan plans a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), to scrape a thin layer off the cervix as an outpatient procedure. The procedure takes only a few minutes. You’ll have regular follow-up visits to ensure that the abnormal cells have been removed.
Call or click to schedule a Pap smear appointment today.