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A person can test themselves for human papillomavirus (HPV) with a home HPV test. Studies suggest that home HPV tests are as accurate as tests that doctors provide, but they may not test for all strains of HPV.

This article discusses HPV, whether or not home HPV tests work, some options to try, and when to contact a doctor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI). It estimates that approximately 42 million people in the United States currently have an HPV infection, while a further 13 million people contract the virus each year.

A person can contract HPV through skin-to-skin contact, often through vaginal, anal, or oral sex, with someone who has the virus.

According to the CDC, 9 out of 10 cases of HPV will go away on their own within 2 years.

However, when HPV does not clear up on its own, it may cause several types of cancer. These include:

A person can go to a doctor’s office to receive testing for HPV. They can also get a vaccination against HPV.

Alternatively, an individual can try an at-home test, which may provide a more accessible option for those with busy schedules or limited access to clinics or health insurance.

This article discusses everything to know about at-home HPV testing, including which brands are available, how accurate the tests are, and when to contact a doctor.

HPV tests check for the presence of HPV. Home HPV tests typically provide a swab so that a person can collect a small sample from their cervix or vagina. They then send the sample back to a laboratory that tests for several high-risk strains of HPV.

In one 2019 study, researchers found that collecting and testing urine samples may also offer a reliable way to screen at-risk populations for HPV.

However, larger studies are still necessary to prove the effectiveness of urine-based HPV testing fully.

Preliminary studies suggest home HPV testing can help improve outcomes for people who otherwise may not be able to receive regular screenings.

One 2016 study concludes these tests were as accurate as the tests that doctors or medical clinics administer.

However, at-home HPV tests do not test for all strains of HPV. And, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are over 100 types of HPV, with 14 high-risk types that may cause cancer.

That said, a 2019 study states that mailing home kits to females who otherwise may not be able to access regular testing helped increase the number of cervical cancer screenings. The researchers recommend further studies on how to send out testing kits most effectively.

A study from 2017 found similar results, with the researchers suggesting several factors may make home tests effective early screening tools.

These factors include:

  • convenience
  • cost effectiveness
  • privacy
  • ease of use

However, companies that make at-home HPV tests warn that, if possible, people should not use them in place of regular Pap smears or other screenings.

There are several companies offering home HPV tests.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented here is purely research-based and correct at the time of publishing.

LetsGetChecked

Best for customer support

LetsGetChecked offers several home tests to choose from, including a test for HPV and various tests for several other STIs.

This home HPV test looks for several high-risk strains of HPV.

For around $90, the kit includes a cervical swab and packaging that a person can use to send their test back to the company on the same day.

People who need to test regularly for HPV can choose the subscribe and save option for around $62 to receive a testing kit every 3 months.

The company accepts health savings account (HSA) payments, and customers should receive their results within 21 days of receipt of a sent sample.

Learn more about LetsGetChecked.

Everlywell

Best affordable option

According to its website, Everlywell offers an at-home HPV test that looks for 14 high-risk strains of HPV.

A person can order a home HPV test on the company’s website. The service then sends the test through the mail after a doctor has reviewed and accepted the individual’s order.

If the healthcare professional does not think an HPV test is suitable for a particular person, they will notify Everlywell, and the company will issue a refund.

A person can follow the instructions in the test kit to collect their vaginal swab sample before sending it back to Everlywell through the mail.

The company then sends the results to the doctor who approved the test. The customer can check the test results via the secure Everlywell platform. They can choose to share their results with a doctor if they would like further advice.

Everlywell’s test kit costs around $50, and the company offers a membership plan that individuals can join for around $25 per month.

Learn more about Everlywell.

Health Testing Centers

Best for payment options

Health Testing Centers offer a variety of home test kits to screen for several STIs, including HPV. Females take a sample from their cervix, while males take a urine test.

According to the company, the tests check for the most common forms of high-risk HPV that may develop into cancer.

To order the test, a person selects the test they need and the laboratory they wish to use.

After paying for the test online, an individual can choose to visit their local laboratory or receive a test kit through home delivery.

According to the company, a person should receive their test kit in the mail within 3–4 business days, and after collecting their sample, they should mail their test to their chosen lab. The laboratory then sends the results via email.

The HPV test from Health Testing Centers costs around $100. A person may use their HSA but may not be eligible to claim through their private health insurance.

myLAB Box

Best experience

myLAB Box produces this HPV home test kit for females aged 30 years and older. The company recommends individuals take a test even if they received vaccination for HPV.

The kit involves a swab collection method, which reportedly only takes 5 minutes to complete at home. An individual can then use the prepaid envelope to send their sample to the company’s lab.

myLAB Box issues test results within 2–5 days and offers free phone consultations for those wishing to discuss their results with a doctor.

The HPV test costs around $90, which includes free shipping. However, it is not currently available to people who live in New York.

iDNA

Best for fast results

iDNA’s HPV home test kit arrives in discreet packaging and includes easy-to-follow directions.

According to the company website, it is 99.9% accurate with urine sample collection for males and a vaginal swab for females.

Individuals log into a secure online portal, which allows them to view and download their results at any time. They can also share the results with a doctor if they wish to discuss them further.

Those who receive a positive result are also eligible to take another test at no additional cost.

The home kit is available to purchase online for around $90.

The table below provides a comparison between the five HPV home test kits this article describes.

TestWhy we chose itOne-time priceType of collectionResults
LetsGetCheckedbest for customer supportaround $90cervical swabwithin 2–5 days
Everlywellmost affordable around $50vaginal swabwithin a few days
Health Testing Centersbest for payment optionsaround $100cervical swab and urine testwithin 3–4 business days
myLAB Boxbest experiencearound $90cervical swabwithin 2–5 days
iDNAbest for fast resultsaround $90urine sample and vaginal swabclaims to provide quick results

To use a test kit correctly, a person can follow the instructions within the test kit they purchased.

Additionally, LetsGetChecked includes specific instructions on its website, indicating the days a person should take the test.

For example, it states that an individual should only take the test:

  • on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday
  • 48 hours after sexual intercourse or using vaginal creams, gels, or tablets
  • when they are not on their period

However, other companies offering tests, such as Home Testing Centers, do not specify the days an individual should take the test.

A person may wish to consult with a doctor to undergo regular sexual health screenings.

HPV may not always cause symptoms. However, the CDC states that symptoms can include small, raised warts on the genitals. If an individual notices any new growths on or around their genitals, they may wish to seek medical assistance.

The CDC also recommends that people get the HPV vaccine to protect against this STI. This vaccine is suitable for children aged 9 years and older and adults aged up to 26 years.

Older adults who have not previously received vaccination against HPV may also wish to speak with a doctor about getting vaccinated.

If a person receives a positive result from a home HPV test kit, they should contact a doctor as soon as possible. A healthcare professional will conduct additional tests and advise on the individual’s next steps.

HPV is an STI that does not always exhibit symptoms. Without treatment, some strains can lead to cancer. There are several home HPV tests available that can help detect high-risk strains of HPV. However, it is crucial to remember that these home tests should not replace routine Pap smear tests or screenings.

A person can order an at-home HPV test online, perform it at home, and send it back to a laboratory to receive their results.

Health experts claim that home HPV testing may help expand access to important sexual health screenings.

People at risk of contracting HPV may wish to consider getting regular sexual health screenings with a doctor, as not all home HPV tests screen for every type of HPV.