Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that infects almost every sexually active person and may increase risk of certain types of cancer like cervical cancer. Jeffrey Obron, MD, in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, is a board-certified gynecologist who screens for, diagnoses, and treats HPV. He also provides HPV vaccinations when appropriate to protect you from the cancer-causing HPV strains. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about HPV and how it affects your health.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses that cause infections. Several strains of HPV cause different symptoms.
Some strains of HPV infect the skin, causing common or genital warts. These are low-risk strains of HPV. High-risk strains of HPV may not cause any symptoms during the early stages of the infection but, over time, can cause cancer.
You contract HPV when your skin comes in contact with the virus. It’s most often passed from person to person through sexual activity, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
The only way to know if you have HPV is to get tested. Dr. Obron performs an HPV test during a pelvic exam. For the test, he collects cells from your cervix and sends the sample to the pathology lab for evaluation.
He may not recommend the HPV test for women younger than 30 unless they have abnormal Pap test results. A Pap test screens for cervical cancer. High-risk HPV infections cause cervical cancer.
If you’re 30 or older, you can choose to have the HPV test with your Pap test. If your tests are negative, you may only need to repeat these tests every five years. You need a Pap test every three years if you decide to skip the HPV test.
There’s no cure for HPV, but it’s possible the infection may go away on its own. However, if you test positive for high-risk HPV, Dr. Obron may recommend additional tests to evaluate your cervix to look for abnormal tissue.
If Dr. Obron finds any abnormal cervical tissue, he recommends a procedure to remove it, such as the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).
The HPV vaccine can protect you from high-risk HPV. It works best when given before you’re sexually active. However, Dr. Obron may recommend the vaccine if you’re between the ages of 26 and 45 and at risk of getting an HPV infection.
Dr. Obron may also recommend the HPV vaccine after treatment removal of abnormal cervical tissue to prevent a recurrence.
Call the office of Jeffrey Obron, MD, today or book an appointment online to learn more about HPV and what you can do to protect your health.