Site Map

HPV DNA test

Human papilloma virus - testing; Abnormal Pap smear - HPV testing; LSIL-HPV testing; Low-grade dysplasia - HPV testing; HSIL - HPV testing; High-grade dysplasia - HPV testing; HPV testing in women; Cervical cancer - HPV DNA test; Cancer of cervix - HPV DNA test

The HPV DNA test is used to check for high-risk HPV infection in women.

HPV infection around the genitals is common. It can be spread during sex.

I Would Like to Learn About:

How the Test Is Performed

The HPV DNA test may be done during a Pap smear. If they are done together, it is called "co-testing."

You lie on a table and place your feet in stirrups. The health care provider places an instrument (called a speculum) into the vagina and opens it slightly to see inside. Cells are gently collected from the cervix area. The cervix is the lower part of the womb (uterus) that opens at the top of the vagina.

The cells are sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope. This examiner checks to see if the cells contain genetic material (called DNA) from types of HPV that cause cancer. More tests may be done to determine the exact type of HPV.

How to Prepare for the Test

Avoid the following for 24 hours before the test:

Empty your bladder just before the test.

How the Test will Feel

The exam may cause some discomfort. Some women say it feels like menstrual cramps.

You may also feel some pressure during the exam.

You may bleed a bit after the test.

Why the Test Is Performed

High-risk types of HPV can lead to cervical cancer or anal cancer. The HPV-DNA test is done to determine if you are infected with one of these high-risk types. Certain low risk types may also be identified by the test.

Your doctor may order an HPV-DNA test:

The HPV test results help your doctor decide if further testing or treatment is needed.

Normal Results

A normal result means you do not have a high-risk type of HPV. Some tests will also check for the presence of low-risk HPV, and this may be reported. If you are positive for low-risk HPV, your provider will guide you in making decisions about treatment.

What Abnormal Results Mean

An abnormal result means you have a high-risk type of HPV.

High-risk types of HPV may cause cervical cancer and cancer of the throat, tongue, anus, or vagina.

Most of the time, cervical cancer related to HPV is due to the following types:

Other high-risk types of HPV are less common.

References

Hacker NF. Cervical dysplasia and cancer. In: Hacker NF, Gambone JC, Hobel CJ, eds. Hacker and Moore's Essentials of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 38.

Practice bulletin No. 157: cervical cancer screening and prevention. Obstet Gynecol. 2016;127(1):e1-e20. PMID: 26695583 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26695583.

US Preventive Services Task Force, Curry SJ, Krist AH, Owens DK, et al. Screening for cervical cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2018;320(7):674-686. PMID: 30140884 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30140884.

Wang ZX, Peiper SC. HPV detection techniques. In: Bibbo M, Wilbur DC, eds. Comprehensive Cytopathology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 38.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 9/25/2018  

Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2019 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.