Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that affects many people around the world. It is important to know how this infection is diagnosed and treated to prevent possible complications, such as cervical cancer. This text will explain how HPV can be diagnosed through screening and answer some common questions about the infection, including whether sex toys can transmit it.

How do I know I have HPV? How is it diagnosed?

HPV screening test

To know if you have human papillomavirus you must undergo screening. What does HPV screening consist of? We explain it to you! The objective is to identify oncogenic or cancer-causing viruses in the cervix, as well as precancerous changes in order to monitor and offer preventive treatment if necessary. To carry it out, there are two methods: cytology or Pap test and an exudate to look for oncogenic HPV strains through nucleic acid (DNA) analysis or both.

But what about women who have negative results for years?

Good news! From the age of 65 they could abandon screening tests. However, it is important to highlight that there is no need to perform detection tests for strains free of oncogenic risk, since we do not have treatment or recommendations for women who give positive results.

Additionally, it is essential to note that screening for high-risk strains is not recommended among those under 25 years of age. A positive result would trigger a number of tests that would probably do more harm than good to the patient, since cervical cancer usually takes time to develop.

If you receive abnormal cytology or HPV test results, you will require further evaluation. You may need to repeat the Pap test and HPV screening or even have a colposcopy. If the injuries are low grade, treatment is often limited to observation and follow-up. On the other hand, if the injuries are high grade, they usually require treatment.

And what happens if I tested positive for the virus and is now negative?

false positive

Latency means that the virus is hidden, but could reappear at some point. Although we do not have direct data on infections caused by latent HPV, it is a possibility that we cannot rule out. However, when the DNA test is negative, there is no active infection or risk of transmission. So, don't worry too much if you've had a positive result in the past and now it's negative!

They say that HPV can cause anal cancer, is it true?

If true, anal cancer can be caused by HPV, but not necessarily through anal sex with a male partner, as previously thought. In fact, HPV has a field effect that can infect any cell in the genital area, even if the virus was deposited on the cervix or lips.

If you experience anal symptoms such as persistent itching or irritation, it is important to have a rectal exam to rule out any problems. However, it is crucial to note that not all anal symptoms are caused by HPV, as there are many other common conditions that can cause irritation and itching in the area.

Women who are HIV positive or have certain precancerous changes in the cervix due to HPV may need an anal swab, but unfortunately there are no clear guidelines on this yet. Currently, routine screening for anal cancer or precancerous lesions is not recommended in healthy women without known risk factors or symptoms of cancer.

Can sex toys give me HPV?

Of course! In addition to penetrative sex, rubbing, and oral sex, sex toys can also be a way to spread HPV. A small study was conducted in which participants were given two types of vibrators, one made of thermoplastic elastomer and one made of silicone, along with a cleaning solution and cleaning instructions. The women collected exudates from their own vagina and from the vibrators before and after use and also after cleaning.

The results showed that HPV was present on the vibrators after use, which should not be surprising since the virus can survive up to seven days on surfaces. More research is needed on cleaning sex toys to prevent virus transmission and also to evaluate whether viral persistence is more limited on silicone surfaces. For now, if you have HPV, you should consider sex toys as possible vehicles of genital infection.

In conclusion

Remember that HPV screening is essential to prevent cervical cancer. Screening tests can identify oncogenic strains of the virus and precancerous changes to offer preventative treatment if necessary. Additionally, it is essential to note that HPV can be transmitted through the use of sex toys and more research is required on the cleanliness of sex toys. If you have HPV, it is important to talk to your doctor about the precautions you should take to avoid transmitting the virus.

While you educate yourself about HPV and take steps to protect your sexual health, don't forget to also take care of your menstrual well-being. Menstrual panties are a safe, comfortable and reusable option that gives you protection and confidence during your most sensitive days. Visit our online store to discover our range of menstrual panties designed for all women. Choose to take care of yourself in all aspects of your health!

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