TriState OBGYN PC
Stephen Ehiremen, MD
OBGYN located in Memphis, TN
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infects up to 80% of American women at some point in their lives, putting them at risk for genital warts and cervical cancer. Stephen Ehiremen, MD, and the team at TriState OBGYN PC in Memphis, Tennessee, offer testing, monitoring, and treatment so women with HPV can live full and healthy lives. If you have HPV or want to get tested for it, book an appointment online or over the phone today.
HPV Q & A
What is human papillomavirus?
Human papillomavirus (HPV), a group of more than 100 viruses, is transmitted during sexual contact, either vaginally, orally, or anally. The most dangerous 40 virus strains can cause illnesses, such as genital warts and cervical cancer.
In most cases, you won’t have any symptoms of HPV, and the infection will go away on its own. However, if you have one of the 40 dangerous strains of HPV, it’s important to get regular pelvic exams and Pap smears to check for the presence of genital warts and cellular changes that may indicate cancer.
How do I know if I have HPV?
Since HPV doesn’t have any symptoms, it is important to see Dr. Ehiremen for regular pelvic exams and Pap smears. If you’re between the ages of 21-29, Dr. Ehiremen recommends a Pap smear and HPV test every 2 years. If you’re between the ages of 30-65, Dr. Ehiremen will screen you for HPV during your normal Pap smear every five years.
If you have an abnormal Pap smear, Dr. Ehiremen will perform a colposcopy to remove a sample of tissue from your cervix for further analysis. If this test is positive and you are diagnosed with HPV, Dr. Ehiremen may recommend more frequent Pap smears to track any cellular changes in your cervix.
In 90% of cases, HPV goes away on its own within two years. If it doesn’t, Dr. Ehiremen will continue monitoring you.
What health problems can HPV cause?
In addition to genital warts and cervical cancer, HPV can cause:
- Other genital cancers, such as cancers of the vulva, vagina, and anus
- Oropharyngeal cancer, which is cancer of the throat, tongue and tonsils
- Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, which causes warts to grow in the respiratory tract
- Pregnancy complications
Pap smears can help indicate when treatment is needed.
How can I prevent HPV?
If you are sexually active, use condoms every time you have sex. It is also important to limit your number of sexual partners or maintain a monogamous relationship. Furthermore, you may be able to get an HPV vaccine.
If you need HPV testing or monitoring, book an appointment with TriState OBGYN PC online or over the phone today.