Any woman who is sexually active is at risk of genital HPV at some time in their life. However more than 90 percent of the infections can be cured within 1-2 years without causing symptoms or diseases.
Using a latex male condom or a female condom can greatly reduce, but not entirely eliminate the risk.
Although having only one sexual partner it is still possible to be infected so cervical cancer screening is important.
- Starting to have sex at an earlier age, younger than 18.
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Women who have had more than three full-term pregnancies.
- Immune system deficiency
- Had a history of sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, gonorrhea, etc.
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse or Blood spots or light bleeding between periods.
- Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual.
- Loss of appetite, weight loss
- Increased vaginal discharge.
- Blood in stool or blood in urine
- In case where the disease is in the advanced stages, it may cause pain in the lower abdomen, difficulty defecating or passing urine or renal failure.
- Swollen legs, which could mean that cervical cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
- Liquid Based Pap test
In a liquid-based Pap test, the cells are rinsed into a small container of liquid. The cells are then placed onto slides by special equipment and examined under a microscope to see if the cells are abnormal. There is 74 percent more sensitivity for disease detection. Recommended to repeat the examination every 1-2 years.
- HPV DNA Test
The sample of cervical cells collected for the test allows doctors to identify 14 high-risk types of HPV, including HPV 16 and HPV 18. This involves a more detailed examination of the cervical cells. HPV DNA Test may be combined with Liquid Based Pap Test;and this will increase to 100 percent of the accuracy in disgnosing lesions. Recommended to repeat the examination every 3 years.
- Sexually active women should have a Pap smear test each year
- Women who have never been sexually active, should still have a Pap smear test at age 21 years.