Is your Gyno making Mistakes?
You need to trust your gynaecologist as he is believed to be the authority in dealing with health concerns, particularly for STDs such as HPV. It is obligatory for you to give in to whatever demands for tests and medical examination he deems necessary. It never crosses your mind that he might be billing you more than what you need by testing more often than necessary. Research carried out in USA suggests that this is very common.
60 percent of gynaecologists in USA conduct HPV tests unnecessarily along with pap smears. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends HPV testing every 2 to 3 years if your last pap smear was found to be normal. HPV test is only supposed to be done as a part of pap smear test and is not necessary by itself. Some gynos even admitted to have been overly testing their patients. One of them was Mary Jane Minkin, MD. The additional tests do not pose a health concern for you but they do cause a hole in your pocket.
You may have your insurance to cover the costs but that is not the ideal solution. Ultimately the cost is borne by the customer who takes the insurance as he has to shell out more in the form of higher interest rates. So, what guidelines should women follow to get themselves tested for HPV, a condition which can lead to cervical cancer? According to Jennifer Wider, a gynaecologist who hosts the Cosmo Radio, women should follow the instructions from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
These instructions are:
- Women in the age group 21 to 30 should screen every 2 years for HPV.
- Women above 30 who have had 3 normal results, one after another, can wait for three years before getting themselves screened again.
Bearing these facts in mind, you should ask your doctor to not test you if you tested normal a year ago. If you cannot remember when you got yourself tested, ask your doctor to inform you. If you have a family history of cervical cancer or you last pap test was not normal, your doctor’s concern is genuine and ask him to inform you about how often the HPV test is necessary. However, even if your test shows positive for HPV, do not freak out. 9 out of 10 women’s immune system is strong enough to clear out the HPV within 2 years. That is why you need to get yourself tested every 2 years, but if you are tested positive, make sure you use condoms to prevent the spread of HPV.
Read more articles on Understand STDs
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Nov 17, 2011
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