There are several ways to test for human papillomavirus (HPV):
- Pap smear: During a Pap smear, a healthcare provider collects cells from the cervix and sends them to a laboratory to be examined for abnormal cells and the presence of HPV.
- HPV DNA test: The HPV DNA test looks for the presence of HPV in cells taken from the cervix. This test is often used in conjunction with a Pap smear for women over the age of 30, or as a primary screening tool for women over the age of 25.
- Visual inspection: A healthcare provider may also visually inspect the cervix for any visible signs of HPV, such as genital warts.
- Biopsy: If abnormal cells are found during a Pap smear or HPV DNA test, a biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the type of HPV present.
It’s important to note that there is no FDA-approved HPV test for men. However, healthcare providers may perform visual inspections of the genital area to look for signs of HPV in men.