How long after a woman is infected with HPV can she develop an abnormal PAP.?

by Rachel on April 10, 2011

In other words, does an abnormal PAP test mean that she was infected recently, or could she have been infected earlier in life and develop the abnormal PAP years later?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Elle April 10, 2011 at 3:49 pm

How long she’s been infected with HPV is unknown, she could’ve contracted the HPV months ago or years ago. What’s important now is that she goes to the doctor when she needs to to take care of anything that needs to be taken care of. HPV is very serious cause it can lead to cervical cancer so it’s important for her to catch any pre-cancerous cells before they become cancer. These cells can easily be treated by surgery which is done in a doctors office, and she leaves the same day. Good luck to her and God bless.

Lily L April 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm

The abnormal pap could happen within a few weeks of infection, or it could happen 15 years later. So basically when the pap comes back abnormal, there’s no way to tell how low ago the woman was infected with HPV.

Erin April 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm

If you’re looking to see if you’re the culprit of spreading HPV, rest assured it is very difficult and unproductive to point the right finger at someone. If you do suspect even the smallest possibility you may be responsible be cautious with your sexual partners and use protection. It can take MANY years for it to manifest. If you are in a monogamous relationship there is no risk of so called “passing it back and forth” you are both likely to have been exposed.

Greenlee April 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm

It’s impossible to tell but I think that usually it takes several years for the HPV virus to cause cancer. This is because the vast majority of the strains will be rapidly cleared by the immune systems. Only strains that hang around for a number of years will ever develop abnormal paps. However, it is still possible for it to cause an abnormal PAP in a short amount of time.

EDIT: I saw the above poster’s advice regarding using “protection”. HPV is spread from SKIN TO SKIN contact, so condoms are virtually worthless in preventing the spread of HPV. It will only cover the areas that the condoms cover. Also, during sex most couples won’t have sex like robots and will touch the genitals of their partner with their fingers. Such as the man may stimulate the genitals of the woman then touch his penis to put the condom on. That alone will spread HPV.

The only way to prevent the spread of HPV is complete abstinence.

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