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HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, with three quarters of all women being infected with a type of the virus at some point during their lives.

Certain types of the virus are known to increase your risk of cervical cancer. The HPV brush test makes it easy for you to check whether you carry one of these high risk strains without having to visit a doctor.

You should receive your test kit within 5 - 8 working days of placing your order. The test is straightforward and consists of a brush, which you use to take a sample of cells from inside your vagina. Once you have taken your sample, you need to post it to the laboratory, using the self-addressed envelope which comes with your test kit.

You will receive your results via your secure and private online patient record. The results will become available within 3 working days of your sample reaching the lab.

Delivery and return postage are included.

 

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What is HPV?

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus which can cause a number of conditions. There are over 100 strains of the virus, most of which are not dangerous. Many types of the virus can cause harmless growths such as verrucas and genital warts. It is very common for people who are infected not to develop any symptoms or complications at all.

However, there are also a small number of strains which increase your risk of developing cervical cancer.

HPV and Cervical Cancer

99% of all women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer carry a high risk strain of HPV. Infection with one of these strains of the virus is considered the biggest risk factor for cervical cancer.

Having the virus does not mean that you will develop cancer later in your life. The majority of sexually active women are infected with a type of HPV at some point in their lives and the virus usually clears within a few months without treatment. It does not usually cause any symptoms or other complications.

If the infection persists it increases your risk of cancer, which is why it is important to get regular smear tests.

Who is at risk of catching HPV?

HPV is transmitted during sex. If you have had unprotected sex, you may carry a strain of HPV. You should always use a condom, regardless of whether you have vaginal, anal or oral sex in order to prevent infection with HPV and other STIs.

Please note, that the HPV brush test can not be used to check for HPV infections of the throat or anus.

 

Is the HPV test the same as a smear test?

The HPV test checks whether you have contracted a high risk strain of HPV. It is not the same as a smear test, which checks for abnormalities of the cervix. You need to continue to attend regular smear tests, even if your HPV test comes back negative.

Your test result

What if I test positive?

If your HPV test result comes back positive, you are currently carrying a high risk strain of the virus. You need to make an appointment with your doctor, who will check for cervical abnormalities. You will need to attend regular smear tests thereafter.

You can take another test for HPV a few months later to check whether the infection has cleared.

What if I test negative?

If your test result is negative, you do not currently carry a high risk strain of the virus. The test does not detect the types of the virus which cause genital warts, so you could still carry one of the less harmful strains of the virus.

It is important that you continue to practise safe sex to protect yourself from HPV and other sexually transmitted infections.

What about the vaccine?

You may also wish to consider getting vaccinated for HPV. You can get vaccinated regardless of whether you test positive or negative. 

The vaccination is also beneficial to boys and men as it protects from genital warts. 

If you have a question about this service, please email info@dred.com with the question, and one of our doctors will get back to you within 24 hours.

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HPV test kit

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