HPV is a virus that usually clears up on its own without causing any problems.
Two groups of HPV can infect the cervix – low risk and high risk. Low risk types are not associated with cervical cancer but may cause genital warts and abnormal screening results. Long term infection with a high risk type of HPV may lead to cervical cancer or pre-cancerous cells.
HPV is very common and easily spread through any kind of sexual contact. This includes intimate touching, oral, vaginal and anal sex.
Most people will get HPV at some point in their lives – often without knowing it. Usually the body’s immune system removes the virus within two years. But sometimes HPV does not clear on its own, and over time, it can cause the cells of the cervix to become abnormal.