HPV Test For Men: Everything You Need To Know

hpv tests for men

In this article, we’ll discuss some popular HPV tests for men.

What Is HPV?

HPV, also known as Human Papilloma Virus, is an infection or virus that can occur in men and women due to unprotected sex, skin contact, and exchange of bodily fluids. It is not a rare disease and can be found in at least 55 to 60 percent of all Americans.

When a couple is in action mode and enjoying the pleasures of vaginal, anal, or oral sex, their skins brush against each other and the constant kissing leads to an unimaginable exchange of bacteria.

These bacteria can easily contain the HPV virus and if they have received the HPV vaccine in their childhood then the body uses its traces to fight the virus. But if the vaccine was not administered back in the day, then the body will lose its fight to HPV and the virus will begin to develop untidy warts on and around the genitals of a man or woman.

Expect to see warts that are flat, small, broad, large, and even in the shape of a cauliflower. They will form around the testicular sack in lump-like shapes or collective lumps clustered together. In severe cases, they can begin to collectively build around or even inside the anus, causing painful excreting experiences.

Also Read: HPV FAQs

HPV Tests For Men

Speaking of diagnosing the presence or possible occurrence of HPV, there are no established and previously formulated tests that help in figuring whether a man has HPV or not. There are basic observations and symptoms that when visually detected indicate the presence of Human Papilloma Virus.

1. Screening

The most common and generic manner of detecting HPV is called Routine testing, also known as ‘Screening’. Keep in mind, it is not an approved test, but a method of detecting HPV. Routine testing is basically going for periodic check-ups to the doctor for catching any symptoms or signs of HPV. If you have any genital related cancer – the CDC has advised against going through generic screening tests to check for something of such high gravity. 

2. PAP Test

The doctor can recommend an HPV test in the event that you are older than 30 years and if your PAP test showed irregular results. By irregular results, we mean abnormal changes in cell concentration and composition. This is also known as ASCUS (Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance). 

Globally, there is a common process advised to be followed by healthcare professionals. If you experience any form of warts on your body (especially the genitals), then visit a doctor at a clinic or major hospital. Being a man, the male doctor will visually analyze your genital areas to check for the growth of unwanted lumps.

The doctor will check for clustered lumps around the scrotum, in the middle of the space between the scrotum and thighs, around the anus, around the penis and for assurance sometimes they may even need to check inside the anus for possible warts. These warts are usually pinkish or reddish color with flesh like attributes.

The doctor would be aware, but even you being a patient must know that all warts do not look the same. The diversity in wart formation includes a myriad of factors such as location, shapes, and color. Genital warts can begin to form and show up from days to even months after a man has caught Human Papilloma Virus. 

The category of HPV, known as high-risk Human Papilloma Virus is one that leads to cancers. Two types of high-risk HPV, namely type 16 and type 18 contribute to abnormal cell changes within genitals that are active during sexual activity. Obviously, this depends on the kind of sexual activity you indulge in.

These high-risk HPV infections are the leading cause in HPV patients to become victims of different sorts of genital cancers such as anal cancer or penile cancer. Even oropharynx (behind the mouth – center point of the throat) cancer becomes a high possibility.

In order to stop the growth of these precancerous cells within genital tissues, you must immediately visit a specialist and take medical advice from them. PAP check-ups are the solution as it is a common test for women to detect the presence of abnormal cervical cells that can lead to cervical cancer.

The CDC has disapproved of this test for men. Although, several healthcare providers do offer anal PAP check-ups for men who have a higher possibility of anal cancer due to undergoing anal sex. Basically, men who have sex with men. If you have high-risk HPV then it is a no brainer to visit the hospital and register yourself for either a male PAP test or something in the same category.

3. Anal Cytology

This can prove to be a costly affair, but definitely provide accurate results and deeper insight into the roots of the problem. There are some epithelial cells that function and hover around the anal canal, the main aim of this test is to identify where a patient has abnormal cell changes in this section. The patients must ensure to refrain from indulging in anal sex and enemas for at least a day before undergoing anal cytology.

When rectal examinations are being done in a digital manner, lubricants are used for greater visibility and expansion. One must ensure that first the cytologic sample must be taken and only then must the digital examination take place. The general process involves the insertion of a water swab into the anal canal, above the squamocolumnar transition territory. Gently applying mild pressure will let you manipulate the movement of the swab in a circular motion within the canal.

After a number of rotational motions, the swab is withdrawn from the anal canal. To ensure this process reaps the desired results, the swab is carefully placed in a methanol-based preservative solution that can easily be transported to testing facilities to generate reports. This is a method that was proposed by medical researchers from different parts of the world.

They said that just as there is a cervical cancer screening program, they would formulate an anal cancer screening program using anal cytology. Patients with abnormal high-resolution anoscopy results are the perfect match for this form of diagnosis for high-risk HPV.

HPV Tests In Men: Wrapping Up

There is not a reputed or well-known treatment for the Human Papilloma Virus. This is neutralized by the fact that all infections clear up by themselves. All a man can do to avoid HPV is to take precautionary measures when indulging in sexual activity.

Wearing a condom and ensuring your partner does not have a long list of previous sexual partners is good for starters. Another way to ensure you do not have to face the issues of HPV is to take the HPV vaccine. The CDC has stated that children must be vaccinated at the age of 11. Three shots/vaccinations given at an interval of a few months equips the body with the immunity needed to fight HPV. 

Keep in mind that it is advised to speak to a doctor when you notice any kind of warts on or around your genitals. Hiding the issue out of embarrassment will only lead to further problems and worse outcomes in the longer run.