HPV screening

Salle de consultation pour le dépistage des HPV

Why getting tested for HPV ?

Screening reduces the risk of invasive cancer of the cervix caused by HPV infection. Screening every three years for women aged 25 to 65 using a standard pap smear reduces the incidence of invasive cervical cancer by 90%.
Screening detects HPV-induced precancerous lesions and directs women to a prompt, less invasive treatment that preserves their fertility. The long latency between the appearance of the cytological anomaly and the development of cervical cancer explains the benefit of screening in women.


Age and frequency of screening

The first two pap smears will be performed at one year intervals in women from 25 years. If the results of the test are normal, the screening will be recommended at a frequency of a pap smear every 3 years for women between 25 and 65 years.

Analyse frottis dépistage HPV par un médecin

How is screening done ?

The detection of the condyloma is carried out via the inspection of the ano-genital area. If the pathology is diagnosed, the sexual partner must always be informed and a pair screening is recommended to eliminate any other type of associated disease.

Screening for precancerous lesions is achieved by pap smear. Pap smear is a test that allows the removal of cells from the surface of the cervix.

Pap smear results :

  • Normal
  • Benign lesions
  • Squamous lesions: :
    • ASCUS (Atypical Squamous Cells of Unknowned Significance)
    • LSIL (Low-grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion)
    • HSIL (High Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion)
    • Invasif squamous cell cancer
  • Glandular lesions :
    • AGCUS (Glandular Atypia of undetermined significance)
    • Adenocarcinoma (endocervical, endometrial, extra-uterine)

The quality of the pap smear may be influenced by: menstruation, blood loss, inflammation or vaginal infection, pregnancy, postpartum (6 to 8 weeks postpartum delay), use of a vaginal medication or lubricant (wait 48h), severe genital atrophy related to menopause.

In the presence of lesions and depending on their grade, cytological surveillance, complementary tests or treatments are performed (colposcopy, HPV test, biopsies) to reduce the risk of progression to cancer.


Colposcopy is a screening test that consists of visualizing the cervix using a binocular microscope, the colposcope, which allows a magnification of 6 to 40 times. In most cases, colposcopy is an examination required by the gynecologist in the event of an abnormal pap smear result.

To perform a colposcopy, it is necessary to expose the cervix with a vaginal speculum and apply reagent liquids to “whiten” the suspicious areas (acetic acid) and visualize the boundaries of these areas (Lugol solution).

Colposcopy can detect abnormalities or precancerous lesions not visible to the naked eye and that could lead to cancer of the cervix.

During the examination, small mucosa specimens covering the cervix (biopsies) can sometimes be taken for further microscopic analysis.

HPV test

The HPV test is a molecular biology test that can detect the presence of papillomavirus DNA in cervical cells and highlight the possible presence of oncogenic HPV.

The HPV test is performed in the same manner as the pap smear and a positive HPV test will lead to a conventional cytology examination (pap smear).

The HPV test is a qualitative test with a sensitivity greater than 95%.

HPV test results

  • Positive: presence of oncogenic HPV
  • Negative: absence of oncogenic HPV