What is HPV?

HPV stands for human papillomavirus. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by human papillomavirus. 

High-Risk and Low-Risk HPV Types:
Low-risk HPV type: Generally, most low-risk genital HPV strains don’t cause symptoms and disappear when the body builds immunity to the virus. These strains have no association with cancer but can lead to genital warts.

High-risk HPV type: Infection with high-risk HPV can lead to more extensive cervical dysplasia and certain types of cancer. The most common high-risk strains of HPV—types 16 and 18 cause most HPV-related cancers, including those involving the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, and anus. High-risk HPV strains can also lead to cancers of the throat, tongue, and tonsils.

What are the risk factors for cervical cancer?

  1. First sexual intercourse before the age of 16
  2. Multiple sexual partners
  3. Pregnancy at a young age
  4. Weakened immune system
  5. Women on birth control pills for more than 5 years
  6. Habitual smoking

Are there any symptoms of cervical cancer?

Cervical Cancer in its early stage does not give rise to any obvious symptoms. In later stages, there may be abnormal vaginal bleeding, unusual or unpleasant vaginal discharge. For example: between two menstrual periods or after sex. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

I have been HPV vaccinated; do I still need cervical cancer screening?

Yes! Vaccinated women will still need regular cervical cancer screening because the vaccine protects against some but not all HPV types that cause cervical cancer. Also, women who got the vaccine after becoming sexually active may not get the full benefit of the vaccine if they had already been exposed to HPV.

If the HPV high-risk test result is positive, does it mean that I have cervical cancer?

About 80% of women may be infected with HPV in their lifetime, but the infection may not progress to cervical cancer. Make an appointment with a doctor for further examinations and regular follow-up visits.

What should I do if there is bleeding after the self-sampling procedure?

While a small amount of blood visible is normal after self-sampling, a large amount of blood or unusual discharge after the swab may indicate an existing medical issue or infection. If you are in doubt, make an appointment with a doctor to seek further medical attention. 

Dr. Lum Nga Lai, Peggy

Address: Room 715, 7th Floor, Tower A, Mira Place, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

Contact Info: 2191 6808

Office Hours:

Monday to Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm
Closed on Sundays and public holidays

Dr. Wong Chung Kit

Address: Wanbang Building, 33 Queen's Road, Central, Hong Kong

Contact Info: 25735200 WhatsApp: 59804657

Office Hours:

Monday to Saturday: 9:30am to 1:30pm ; 2:30pm to 6:30pm
Closed on Sundays and public holidays