At NYU Langone, our doctors provide support for women who require additional tests and treatment due to abnormal Pap test results.
Current guidelines suggest that women at low risk for cervical cancer have a Pap test every 3 years from age 21 to 29. Women 30 to 65 years old may opt to have both human papillomavirus (HPV) and Pap tests every 5 years, or the Pap test alone every 3 years. This schedule reduces the risk of detecting HPV infections that would go away without intervention while providing enough time to manage any irregular cervical cells.
If you have had an abnormal Pap or HPV test result, your doctor may schedule more frequent testing. Your NYU Langone doctor works with you to create a screening schedule that best addresses your needs.
There is no cure for HPV. Although the majority of HPV infections go away or become undetectable within two years, some HPV infections can persist. If you have tested positive for the virus, or if you’ve been treated for genital warts or precancerous cervical changes, NYU Langone gynecologists monitor you for any additional changes in cervical cells.
HPV spreads easily through sexual contact. You can help reduce the risk of passing the virus to a partner by using condoms or other barrier protection methods during sexual activity. Your doctor may advise that you avoid sexual activity when genital warts are present, and avoid the use of spermicides, which can cause tiny abrasions on the genitals that can help HPV to spread.
Women younger than age 26 may want to consider getting the HPV vaccine to protect against infection with certain low risk and high risk types of HPV. Vaccines for HPV are given as a series of three injections over the course of six months. Boys and young men 9 to 26 years old may also consider getting this vaccine.