About 79 million Americans have HPV, making it the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. New York City gynecologist Joan Berman, MD, screens for and treats HPV at her practice in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. HPV may not cause symptoms, so getting tested is essential. Call or book online to schedule your appointment today.
HPV, or human papillomavirus, includes more than 150 related virus strains that spread through sexual contact. They’re called papillomaviruses because many strains cause warts, or papillomas.
These warts can appear on various parts of your body depending on the type of virus you have. Certain strains of HPV cause genital warts to develop on your vulva, vagina, or cervix. Others may cause warts on your hands, feet, or face.
Most HPV infections don't lead to cancer, but some do. HPV infections that last for many years without treatment may lead to abnormal changes in your cervical cells, which can eventually become cancerous.
HPV is extremely common, particularly among adolescents and young adults. Of the 79 million Americans with HPV, most are in their late teens and early 20s.
Anyone who’s sexually active is susceptible to getting HPV, but your chances increase with multiple partners. You can reduce, but not eliminate, your risk of getting HPV by using latex condoms correctly. If you’re under age 26, you may want to consider the HPV vaccine.
Most people with HPV don't know they’re infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from the virus. Typically, your immune system overcomes the infection before issues arise. The best way to find out if you have HPV is to discuss your concerns and sexual history with Dr. Berman.
When HPV does cause signs and symptoms, they may include:
If you’re over age 30, Dr. Berman may perform an HPV test with your routine Pap test and pelvic exam. HPV is so common among women under age 30 that screening isn’t recommended unless you have an abnormal Pap test.
The American Cancer Society recommends women ages 30-65 get tested for HPV with their Pap test every five years to screen for cervical cancer. Getting regular Pap tests and HPV screenings can help you prevent cervical cancer and maintain good reproductive health.
To learn more about HPV testing, call Dr. Berman or book an appointment online.