Diagnosis

Your doctor might be able to diagnose HPV infection by looking at your warts.

If genital warts aren't visible, you'll need one or more of the following tests:

  • Vinegar (acetic acid) solution test. A vinegar solution applied to HPV-infected genital areas turns them white. This may help in identifying difficult-to-see flat lesions.
  • Pap test. Your doctor collects a sample of cells from your cervix or vagina to send for laboratory analysis. Pap tests can reveal abnormalities that can lead to cancer.
  • DNA test. This test, conducted on cells from your cervix, can recognize the DNA of the high-risk varieties of HPV that have been linked to genital cancers. It's recommended for women 30 and older in addition to the Pap test.
April 02, 2016
References
  1. Palefsky JM. Epidemiology of human papillomavirus infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  2. Warts. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/warts. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  3. Genital HPV infection — CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  4. Human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs380/en/, Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  5. Castle PE, et al. Recommendations for the use of human papillomavirus vaccines. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  6. Goldstein BG, et al. Cutaneous warts. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 28, 2016.
  7. AskMayoExpert. Nongenital warts: Patient-guided treatment (adult). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  8. Anogenital warts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/warts.htm. Accessed Jan. 28, 2016.
  9. STDs during pregnancy — CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/pregnancy/stdfact-pregnancy.htm. Accessed Jan. 28, 2016.
  10. Patient education fact sheet: New  guidelines for cervical cancer screening. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Womens-Health/Cervical-Cancer-Screening. Accessed Jan. 28, 2016.