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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Should I get a hpv type test for low grade cervical cell changes?

    My last pap smear came back as low grade cervical cell changes. Was told I would need another pap smear in 6 months time to see if my body has cleared it. I've heard that there are different types of hpv & some are worse than others. Will getting a hpv test find out what type I have? And should I get this test?

    I am slightly concerned as I have anaemia & very low vitamin d at the moment. My immune system dosn't seem to be working too well as I've had a candida infection for 6 months straight, even while on medication & numerous other infections.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3

    Thanks

    Dr Karen Osborne

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Sydney GP specialising in Reproductive & Sexual Health for both women and men. At Clinic 66, we deal with a wide range of reproductive and ... View Profile

    HPV testing is recommended and funded through Medicare for HIGH GRADE changes http://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/hpv
    So it is up to you as you may be charged privately for the HPV test if you do not fit the criteria. Sometimes a Pap test will be reported as showing HPV effect. Your body is likely to clear any HPV by your next pap so I do not think it is strictly necessary at this point in time.
    If you keep getting candida, it's worth repeating your swabs to determine the strain / exclude other causes, excluding diabetes and maybe trying a different treatment such as boric acid pessaries

  • 1

    Thanks

    Dr Karen Osborne

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Sydney GP specialising in Reproductive & Sexual Health for both women and men. At Clinic 66, we deal with a wide range of reproductive and ... View Profile

    HPV testing in the medical news today
    http://www.medicalobserver.com.au/news/hpv-dna-test-better-than-repeat-pap

  • 1

    Thanks

    Dr Shian Miller

    Gynaecologist, Obstetrician

    Dr Shian Miller is a Brisbane Obstetrician Gynaecologist who has rooms on Wickham Tce in Brisbane city and admitting rights at Greenslopes Private Hospital. She ... View Profile

    Hi,

    The simple answer is "No". An HPV test is not usually recommended nor required if you have had a single pap smear showing low grade changes. In fact, if you have the test, very likely it will say "HPV positive" and you are still none the wiser about what to do about it. Given there are any cervical changes at all, the virus (HPV) is almost certainly there at the moment. The reason we don't worry about it being there is that most (generally 80-90%) of people will clear the virus themselves over time. 

    With a single pap smear showing low grade changes, the Australian recommendation is to repeat a pap smear in 12 months. Unless there are special circumstances, repeating in 6 months is unnecessary in the majority of people. This is because there is a high chance of HPV, and the low grade change, to spontaneously resolve over this time.

    If there are two pap smears (6-12 months apart) showing low grade changes - or high grade changes - you should see a gynaecologist for a colposcopy.

    If there are special circumstances, such as previous cervical surgery, immunosuppression from disease or drugs, etc, then you may need to see a gynaecologist for even a single low grade pap smear.

    Recurrent candida/thrush is unusual and you should have the diagnosis checked. There are many other problems that can be thought to be 'candida' but is actually something else - which would explain why treatment has not worked. See your doctor, a different GP, or a gynaecologist for a thorough check.

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