Originally Posted by dragonwhispers
I was recently diagnosed with HPV.
If my pap showed no abnormal cells, why would they automatically test for HPV?
Also, if there were abnormal cells would they not be requesting further testing rather than waiting to see how my next pap goes?
I'm confused? Did your PAP show abnormal cells, or not?
As to why they'd automatically test you for HPV, that's simple. At least here in the states, all women over 30 are routinely tested for HPV at every exam. To test for HPV, they use a swab to get a sample of fluid from the cervix, which is obtained at the same time they're obtaining the PAP.
Why would you not want to know if you have HPV?
Typically, if your PAP was abnormal, they would proceed to further testing- colposcopy, biopsy, and treatment, if necessary (CIN1, the mildest form of abnormal cells, is usually not treated, since it often goes away on its own. Doctors just take a watch and wait approach, with frequent PAPs).
The exception would be if your abnormal PAP was an ASCUS result. I believe this stands for Atypical Squamus Cells of Unknown Significance.
This is a fairly common PAP result. Although technically it is "abnormal", it does not necessarily indicate precancerous cells. Often, an infection or a bit of inflammation will cause this result. Therefore, when a woman gets this result, doctors often wait and do another PAP in a few months, to see if it clears up. If it doesn't, then they'll probably proceed with further testing.
I believe they are simply trying to spare you unnecessary invasive testing.
Although if they have in fact determined that you are positive for HPV, and if the strain you're positive for is one of the high-risk strains... then possibly you should push your doctor for a colpo and a biopsy now, rather than wait and see if it clears up at the next PAP.
Best of luck.