Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD). Certain strains of HPV are linked to the development of cervical cancer in women. Silpa Senchani, MD, FACOG, and her team at Women’s Health Specialists of Central Florida specialize in gynecological cancer and provide testing and treatment for HPV and changes to your cervical tissue, as well as preventive care to protect you from getting an HPV infection. To learn more about HPV or to get tested, call one of the offices in St. Cloud or Orlando, Florida, or book an appointment online.
HPV refers to a group of over 100 different types of viruses that affect the skin. Warts, including genital warts, are a type of HPV. HPV is one of the most common STDs, affecting 80% of sexually active people in the United States.
While certain strains of HPV can come and go without causing symptoms, some strains are dangerous and can cause changes to the cells in your cervix that increase your risk of cervical cancer.
Dr. Senchani and her team at Women’s Health Specialists of Central Florida include HPV testing as part of your well-woman exam. During the test, your specialist gently scrapes cells from your cervix and tests them for the dangerous strains of HPV. You may also have your Pap smear completed at the same time.
The Pap smear is a cervical cancer screening tool that most women should start at age 21. During the test, your provider gently swabs cells from your cervix and has them evaluated for abnormalities.
If your HPV and Pap smear are both negative, then you may not need to get another test for five years.
If your HPV or Pap smear results are positive, Dr. Senchani and her team may recommend a colposcopy, which is a test that allows her to take a closer look at your cervix to evaluate for abnormalities. She may also conduct a biopsy during your colposcopy for additional testing.
If Dr. Senchani finds abnormal cells, she may recommend further treatment, such as:
LEEP is a procedure that uses an electric current that acts like a scalpel to remove a thin layer of your cervical tissue.
Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to destroy the diseased tissue.
Dr. Senchani determines the best treatment for you based on the diagnostic findings.
To protect you from an HPV infection, the team at Women’s Health Specialists of Central Florida offer the HPV vaccination. This vaccine can protect you from the most dangerous strains of HPV, as well as the strains that cause genital warts.
To get the most benefits, you should be vaccinated before you’re sexually active, usually between the ages of 11 and 12. But the FDA has approved the HPV vaccine for people ages 9 to 45.
HPV is a common STD. For testing, treatment, and prevention, the team at Women’s Health Specialists of Central Florida has you covered. Call one of the offices today or book an appointment online.