Why HPV screening is important and how to test at home

This post is sponsored by Nurx, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Lately I’ve been listening to a podcast about disease, and it’s got me hyper aware of the importance of preventative maintenance for a variety of health issues. January is National Cervical Health Month, so I’m really excited to share with you some information about HPV and how Nurx is making it easier and super affordable to take charge of your health.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most commonly transmitted STI (sexually transmitted infection), with nearly 80 million Americans currently infected and 14 million newly infected each year. This next fact really blew my mind: a LOT of people are infected with HPV in their lives (80 percent of sexually active people!) but are unaware they have the virus. In a lot of these cases, the HPV will go away on its own but if it doesn’t, it can cause cancer in the nether regions, including cervical cancer (it causes 34,000 cervical cancer diagnoses each year).

Here’s why I love the HPV screening I’m about to share with you: nearly 25% of women without health insurance have not checked their risk for cervical cancer in the past 5 years. That number is 11% in the general population, so that means women in this country with less access to health care are TWICE AS LIKELY to have never had a screening. Nurx just introduced a Home HPV screening text. In the privacy of your own home, women can have the chance to make better decisions about their health.

Nurx’s Home HPV Screening test is affordable at $15 with insurance and $69 without insurance. The test kit, which is the same quality as a pap smear, checks for 14 strains of HPV that have a higher risk of leading to cervical cancer. Β The test is really simple, too.

After visiting Nurx.com or downloading the Nurx app, you’ll answer a few questions about your house and the test will be shipped to your door. In the test is an extra long q-tip, plastic tube and bag, sticker with a barcode, and prepaid return envelope.

All you have to do is insert, circle around (if you know what I mean!), drop the swab in the tube, put the tube in the bag, and mail it in the pre-paid envelope. A few days after the medical team receives your sample, you’ll get your results from the Nurx medical team. If the results come back negative, you have a low risk of cervical cancer and don’t need another test for 3 years. If your results are positive, it doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. The Nurx medical team will work with you to figure out the next steps for you.

If you’re in the 30+ category with me (hello, welcome, want some tea?) guidelines advise to check the risk for cervical cancer with an HPV test every 5 years or a pap smear every 3 years. Nurx does offer a kit for you spring chickens aged 25-29 in case you want to check your risk for cervical cancer between pap smears.

This test is preventative screening, it’s not a treatment or replacement for doctors or health care, which is why I’m so glad that Nurx doesn’t just report back results and helps with the next steps.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, listening to that podcast about disease has made me so grateful to live in a time where there are so many preventative measures… and they come to the comfort of your own home, don’t judge your sweatpants with the holes, and allow you to take control of your health. What a time to be alive.

Visit the Nurx site to have an HPV screening test sent to you and celebrate National Cervical Health Month by making sure you know what’s going on.

 

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