HPV AND ABNORMAL PAPS

How to take care of yourself

HPV (human papilloma virus) is very common and 80% of people will be exposed to the virus at some time in their lives. HPV can cause abnormal pap smears, genital warts, and cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers. It can also cause throat cancer and anal cancers in both men and women and penile cancer in men. 

Generally, people are checked for HPV with their pap smears after age 30 or with a pap smear. It can also be used to help your doctor decide if a slightly abnormal pap smear means you need more tests. 

If someone has an abnormal pap smear, follow up will depend on each person's risk of cervical or vaginal cancer. Sometimes follow up will be to repeat the pap smear in 1 year and sometimes an additional exam and test, called colposcopy is recommended. 

When abnormal or pre-cancerous cells are found, they can usually be easily treated with an office procedure called a LEEP

We sometimes recommend Indole-3-carbinol (200mg twice a day) which has been shown to help your body clear HPV, though it is not approved by the FDA for that. 

HPV pap smear colposcopy cervical cancer