We will mail your results 4 to 6 weeks after you return your kit. You can also see your results online at Health Gateway
What happens when HPV is found? This depends on the high-risk HPV type found in your sample. There are about 15 high-risk HPV types that are linked to cancer.
Result: No HPV
If your result shows no high-risk HPV was found, this means that you are very unlikely to have abnormal cells in your cervix. You do not need another screen for five years.
Result: HPV 16 and/or 18
You will be referred to a specialist for a colposcopy
. This is when a specialist uses a special microscope to take a closer look at your cervix.
It's rare for someone with a HPV 16 and/or 18 result to have cancer.
Result: Other high-risk HPV types
A health care provider will do a Pap test
to see if there are any abnormal cells on your cervix. Pap test results will help health care providers monitor you closely to see if the HPV clears on its own or causes any changes to your cervix.
Result: Repeat test
It is possible there was an issue with how your sample may have been collected or there was not enough sample to provide a result. A new kit will be mailed to you.
Your health care provider who collected the Pap test sample will send it to the lab to be examined under a microscope by specially trained professionals. Some of the sample collected will either be checked for signs of abnormal cells or HPV, or both. This will depend on factors such as your age and health history.
Depending on your result, you may:
- Need to repeat cervix screening, when recommended, to check if the HPV infection has cleared on its own
- Be referred for a follow-up test, called a colposcopy, to look at your cervix more closely.
Remember, having abnormal cells or HPV does not mean that you have or will develop cancer. But, it’s very important to attend any follow-up appointments. The earlier abnormal changes are found, the easier they are to treat and the less likely they are to develop into cancer.
Learning that a high-risk HPV type was found may cause many feelings and raise a number of questions. Having HPV does not mean you have or will develop cervical cancer.
If further testing shows you do need treatment to remove abnormal cells caused by HPV, it’s simple and very effective.