การตรวจหาเชื้อ HPV เพื่อคัดกรองมะเร็งปากมดลูก สำหรับผู้หญิงทุกวัย - Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test: Steps and Results

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test

An HPV DNA test is for detecting high-risk strains of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, including HPV 16 and 18, which account for most HPV-associated cancers. There are fourteen known oncogenic HPV strains altogether.

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What is an HPV DNA test?

An HPV DNA test is for detecting high-risk strains of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, including HPV 16 and 18, which account for most HPV-associated cancers. There are fourteen known oncogenic HPV strains altogether.

There are over 150 strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). About 100 strains cause warts on the face, hands, and feet, while about 40 strains can infect the anogenital region. Low-risk strains are the causes of genital warts, while high-risk strains usually lead to precancerous lesions, known as cervical dysplasia, which can develop into cervical cancer.

When should you start an HPV DNA test?

  • Start the test at 30 years old.
  • An abnormal Pap smear
  • When you have oropharyngeal cancer: An HPV DNA test can confirm whether oropharyngeal cancer is caused by HPV 16 transmissible through oral sex. The test allows a doctor to develop a suitable treatment plan since HPV-associated throat cancer has a better prognosis.

You should have an HPV DNA test every 3-5 years. Individuals with previous positive HPV tests or weakened immunity, such as HIV patients, should have the test more often as their immunity cannot eliminate the virus effectively. 

วิธีการตรวจหาเชื้อ HPV - How is an HPV DNA test performed?

How is an HPV DNA test performed?

A tissue from the cervix is taken during a Pap smear or through biopsy and sent to a lab for analysis. During a Pap smear test, doctors can also order an HPV DNA test. If the Pap smear results are abnormal and the HPV DNA test is positive, a doctor will perform a biopsy for further examination by a pathologist to rule out cancer.

What are the steps for HPV testing?

Before the HPV test 

For accuracy, patients should avoid activities that can interfere with the test results. For example, avoid taking the test during active menstruation. Patients should refrain from sexual intercourse, using lubricants or vaginal douching, and applying suppository, spermicide, or contraceptive gel for at least two days before the test.  

During the HPV test 

An HPV DNA test procedure follows the same steps as a Pap smear test. The patient will lie face up while placing their legs in stirrups. The examining doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina to examine the cervix and collect a sample of cervical cells before sending it for DNA analysis.

After the HPV test 

The patient can return to their usual daily routine. The doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss the test results, which may be positive or negative.

ภาพจากการตรวจ pap smear ที่พบเชื้อ HPV - Photomicrograph of Paps smear: Inflammatory smear with HPV related changes. Human Papillomavirus (hpv) Test

What do the HPV test results indicate?

  • Positive results mean the detection of high-risk HPV that can cause cervical cancer. However, it does not mean that you already have cancer. Positive results are only warning signs of the likelihood of cancer. It is advisable to have another HPV test one year later to assess for persistent HPV infection or other indications of cancer. 
  • Negative results denote no detection of high-risk HPV that can lead to cervical cancer. You should receive preventive HPV vaccinations.

After an HPV test, the doctor may recommend:

  • Follow-up checkups: It is advisable to have follow-up checkups every 3 - 5 years for those over 30 with a normal Pap smear or a negative HPV test result.
  • Colposcopy: Doctors will perform colposcopy if a Pap smear is abnormal. During colposcopy, they may take a tissue biopsy from suspicious areas.
  • Surgery of the cervix: Doctors will excise abnormal tissue to prevent precancerous dysplastic cells from developing into cancer.

วัคซีน HPV ป้องกันมะเร็งปากมดลูก - HPV Vaccine

HPV Vaccine Package

Frequently asked questions

  • Can STD testing detect HPV?
    STD testing does not test for HPV. STD testing is usually performed through blood or bodily fluid testing, whereas an HPV test involves taking a sample of cells from the cervix directly. However, you can get both an STD and HPV DNA test during the same visit.
  • How can a man know if he has an HPV infection?
    Currently, there is no FDA-approved HPV test for males. However, warts on the skin, including the anogenital and scrotal area, indicate HPV infection. If you notice warts, a doctor's assessment is recommended. In some cases, they may perform an anal pap smear to screen for dysplasia and anal cancer.

A note from MedPark's doctor

An HPV DNA test plays a crucial role in assessing the future risk of cervical cancer in dysplastic cells. Women between 30 and 60 should have regular Pap smear tests, HPV tests, or both.


Article by

  • Dr Mattawan Jamigorn
    Dr Mattawan Jamigorn An Obstetricians and Gynecologists Specializing in Maternal and Fetal Medicine

Published: 10 Jun 2024

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