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Key Points To Know Before Getting The HPV Test

By EmpowHER January 11, 2012 - 11:11am

Article provided by QIAGEN

So, who should get the HPV test and how does a woman go about requesting the test from her doctor? Here are the most important considerations:

  • If you are under 30, you don’t yet need routine HPV testing. However, check with your doctor or nurse to make sure he or she will instruct the lab to automatically do the HPV test if your Pap result is inconclusive or abnormal. The good news is that this is a widespread practice in the United States, although it helps to double check.
  • If you are over 30, most experts now recommend that you get an HPV test whether or not your Pap is normal. However, many doctors and nurses are not yet ordering the HPV test for all their patients over 30. To find out if your doctor uses the Pap + HPV testing as his or her standard for cervical cancer screening, check Qiagen’s Clinician Finder. If you don’t see your provider on the list, it’s a good idea to call the office before your annual appointment to request the HPV test along with your Pap. Or you can remind him or her when you go in for your appointment.
  • Most insurance companies pay for both uses of HPV testing.
  • The decision to get an HPV test is one that you can make for yourself. If you have decided you want the test after reviewing this Web site and other information, but your doctor or nurse says it’s not necessary, it's OK to say that you want to take an active role in cervical cancer prevention and still want the HPV test "for extra peace of mind."
  • Whatever your age, make sure that you are informed of all of your test results. Don’t assume that no news is good news!

For information on receiving the test, visit Guidelines for Getting the Test.

For additional information on cervical cancer prevention and HPV testing, please visit www.theHPVtest.com.

Add a Comment2 Comments


I would say anyone who is sexually active should get the HPV test. HPV is very common, but I would rather get the test now than find out 10 years later that I have cervical cancer because I didn't check to see if my results were abnormal, and because I didn't monitor any abnormal results, the abnormal cells progressively got worse. That's not to say that all abnormal results will even lead to cervical cancer, but it's a possibility. I'm in my early 20s and already received abnormal results (getting a second opinion now). Imagine if I had waited until I'm 30 to find this out. Be proactive about any type of testing - your doctor won't necessarily suggest anything for you.

March 14, 2012 - 8:04am
EmpowHER Guest

If you already have a history of HPV is it necessary to continue getting the HPV test with your Pap every year? My docotor said "We already know you have it so we don't need to keep doing the test." So how will I know if I have active HPV, dysplasia, or lesions since it's possible for Paps to miss these?

January 23, 2012 - 6:01am
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