What is HPV?
HPV stands for Human papillomavirus. It is currently the most common STI with around 80 million Americans infected. It can cause genital warts and later on, can cause cervical cancer. Some people may not have symptoms, so you may not know if your partner or even yourself has it!
What can I do to prevent or look out for HPV?
1. Ask your doctor if you have gotten the GARDASIL vaccine.
It is given to girls and boys ages 9-26. The Gardasil9 protects against 9 types of HPV! It is typically a 2 or 3 shot series and started around ages 11 or 12. Just think, if you prevent HPV in the first place, you can protect yourself against a type of cancer!
2. The pap smear during your well woman visits (OBGYN) can tell if HPV is present.
Starting at age 21, all women are screened for HPV and cervical cancer through a pap smear. This test takes a look at the cells in your cervix and can detect infection or cancerous changes.