Take an exam if you care about healthcare and loved ones.

Many people will probably think that I am a bore, but I take an HPV test every year just for my peace of mind and confidence that I am healthy. After all, HPV is a very dangerous thing to test, and it is better to be sure that everything is in order with your health. The trouble is that symptoms can be missed. It seems that a person goes to work, has fun, feels good – but the virus does not sleep… “HPV passes through sexual and skin-to-skin contact, making it one of the most common STDs. It’s tricky to get exact stats on how many people have it worldwide because most carriers don’t show any symptoms. Biologists estimate that approximately 80% of the world’s population are carriers of HPV.”

The danger of the virus is that some types can lead to cancer. 98% of cervical cancers (according to US scientists – 100%) are associated with HPV. The virus provokes cancer of the vagina, vulva, anal canal, male genital organs, throat, and mouth. Moreover, a deadly STD can develop years or decades after infection if favourable conditions arise.”

The funny thing is that a man, of course, may not know that he is infected with HPV, and simply out of ignorance, he can infect you without wanting anything bad… An insidious, cleverly hiding STD! Because the STD can be asymptomatic. In connection with the above, the only and most accurate method is to undergo a simple examination.

Several methods are available to detect the presence or absence of sores. Though not exhaustive, the primary ones include:

Colposcopic examination:

This procedure uses a colposcope to check the vaginal part of the cervix and the vagina’s entrance and walls. It’s a straightforward, low-cost, and informative way to diagnose cervical diseases.

Extended colposcopy:

Is also clinically significant, utilising additional tests such as 3% acetic acid and Lugol’s iodine solution.  Results reveal different epithelium types, allowing you to assess the size and quality of pathological formations (if any), vascular pattern, and the quality of the cervical glands.

Cytological examination:

The task of a cytological examination of cervical smears (Papanicolaou exams) is to identify cells specific for HPV infection.

Histological examination:

The histological method for detecting HPV, considered the gold standard for diagnosing the virus, faces challenges due to its high cost, limited frequency of testing, and occasional inaccuracies in targeted sampling of biopsy samples from the cervix. Histological diagnosis also requires highly qualified specialists.

Diagnosis:

PCR is a sophisticated technology for detecting nucleic acids. Modern STD PCR systems, incredibly sensitive, not only identify it but also quantify the viral load in the body—a measure of infection—for the main clinically significant genotypes responsible for nearly 94% of severe cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer cases. PCR systems also detect HPV strains 6 and 11.

What methods did I go through? And how did it happen? Personal experience

1. I was the first to have a colposcopy (all these procedures were at different times, of course, not one after another!). Simply put, A mirror is inserted THERE, which feels larger than usual. The gynaecologist examines the situation there under a microscope. The sensations were strange; I was disgusted and quite painful. The sensations were especially painful during the reaction with the iodine solution. For a few more hours after the colposcopy, it also burned.

How the procedure goes (again, in simple words): A piece of TAM inside is stained with iodine and examined under a microscope to see how uniform the staining is. Then, conclusions are drawn, and the image is photographed.

State medical institutions do not give you pictures, but a non-specialist there will not understand anything.

My procedure was free, but I made an appointment two weeks ago. The result is immediate.

Cytological examination

Our antenatal clinic takes it from everyone yearly during a routine examination during a standard smear. In addition to HPV, various other diseases can be clarified.

Free and without registration. The result will take about a week if I’m correct.

PCR diagnostics

This is exactly the method I turned to last time.

Everything goes as usual: the doctor takes a smear (it doesn’t hurt very easily and quickly). Then they gave me a tiny vial, like a mini-flask, in my hands and told me to take it to the HIV laboratory. My eyes bulged out of their sockets with fear. The doctors laughed and said this was simply the name of the general laboratory for all kits.

I underwent exams for a fee through a public clinic (an office for paid services), but I did an Invitro test to avoid standing in line for a hundred years and waiting.

The results arrived in 1-2 days. They voiced it over the phone without any problems. I exhaled—thank God, everything is fine! Nothing was found.

Deadlines

I took the PCR diagnostics on Thursday afternoon, and the results were ready on Monday afternoon—very quickly, in my opinion!

Which method is best?

Of the three methods I tried, I liked PCR diagnostics because it’s fast and painless. You can also get tested for a whole profile test of STDs, which is what I did, but more on that next time.

As far as I understand, several types of the virus exist, which fall into two large groups: those with a high oncogenic risk (code 313, which I tested) and those with a low risk (which I didn’t test this time).

You can also take a PCR exam through blood, but this is my first time doing this.

Bottom line

Every respectable woman (and man, obviously, too) should take this important test once a year. It’s not scary, it doesn’t hurt (except for colposcopy, but everything is tolerable there), it’s fast enough, and everything is immediately clear. After all, without taking the STD test and not knowing the results, you can infect your loved ones loved ones… This is very scary.

Well, the only negative is the tedious wait for results, but this applies to all tests. The main thing is to do something other than beat yourself up!

Therefore, once a year, you can carve out a couple of hours, find some 330 rubles, and most importantly – strength and desire.