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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.
- Best for follow-up support: TBD Health | Skip to Review
- Best affordable option: Everlywell | Skip to Review
- Best for individuals with insurance: Nurx | Skip to Review
- Best for fast results: myLAB Box | Skip to Review
HPV facts at a glance
According to the
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.
A person can also 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.
People should not test for HPV before the age of 25. The
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
A note about sex and gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.
The table below compares the five HPV home test kits this article describes.
|Test||Why we chose it||One-time purchase price||Sample type||Results turnaround|
|TBD Health||best for customer follow-up support||$79||vaginal swab||3–5 business days|
|Everlywell||most affordable||$49||vaginal swab||5–7 days|
|Nurx||best for people with insurance||$79 without insurance|
$49 with insurance
|vaginal swab||7 days|
|myLAB Box||best for fast results||$89||vaginal swab||2–5 days|
Medical News Today’s methodology
Medical News Today chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria where possible:
- Laboratories: Where possible, MNT will choose companies that process test samples in
CLIA-certifiedlabs. This means they follow state and federal regulations.
- Budget: MNT chooses at-home tests that suit a wide range of budgets.
- Privacy: MNT includes companies that offer robust and transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
- Test result speed: MNT selects companies that inform customers when they will receive their test results and whether they will receive them via email, app, or phone.
- Further support: MNT will indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
In one 2019 study, researchers found that collecting and testing preservative-fixed urine samples may offer a reliable way to screen at-risk populations for HPV. Larger studies are necessary to fully prove the effectiveness of urine-based HPV testing.
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.
Increasing access to testing
Preliminary studies suggest home HPV testing can help improve outcomes for people who otherwise may not be able to receive regular screenings.
These factors include:
- ease of use
- At-home tests may be more convenient than visiting a doctor’s office.
- They may allow more people to access HPV testing.
- People may consider them less invasive.
- Pricing is clear as there are typically no hidden doctor or laboratory fees.
- Some research suggests these tests may be as reliable as doctors’ tests.
- A person may interpret their results without guidance from a doctor.
- Not all companies offer follow-up advice or care.
- Health insurance does not typically cover the cost of at-home tests.
- If a person receives a positive result, they will need to contact their doctor and may have follow-up testing.
People should consider the following factors when choosing an at-home HPV test:
- Collection method: Some tests may only be suitable for females. People should carefully read which collection method a test requires and choose one that is suitable for their anatomy.
- Payment methods: Health insurance is unlikely to cover at-home HPV tests. A person should read the company’s website carefully to see if it accepts their health insurance and whether it accepts FSA and HSA payments.
- Lab certifications: People should prioritize buying tests from companies that use CLIA-certified labs to analyze samples.
- Follow-up advice: Some companies may offer follow-up advice from healthcare professionals. A person may feel more comfortable purchasing a test from a company that offers this service.
People can expect to receive either a negative or positive HPV test result. They should discuss their result with a doctor regardless of the outcome.
If a person receives a negative result, and they do not have any symptoms, it is unlikely that they have HPV. A healthcare professional will advise a person on when they should retest.
If a person receives a negative test result but is experiencing HPV symptoms, such as small, raised warts on and around the genitals, they may wish to seek medical advice. A healthcare professional may recommend undergoing another test.
If a person receives a positive test result, they should contact a doctor for the next steps.
While there is no cure for HPV, medical professionals may be able to offer treatment for genital warts.
Learn more about HPV treatment.
A person may wish to consult with a doctor to undergo regular sexual health screenings.
HPV may not always cause symptoms. However, the
Older adults who have not previously received the HPV vaccine 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.
Below are answers to some common questions about at-home HPV tests.
Why would I need an at-home HPV test?
A person may wish to purchase an at-home HPV test if they believe they or a sexual partner has HPV.
Additionally, an at-home HPV test may be more convenient for those who cannot access an in-person healthcare visit.
How is an HPV test done?
At-home HPV tests often require a cervical or vaginal swab for females. Companies may require urine samples from males.
People should carefully read the company’s website and test instructions to determine what sample is required to test for HPV.
How accurate are the results of an at-home HPV test?
At-home HPV tests may be of similar accuracy to the tests a doctor may perform.
However, at-home HPV tests may not test for all strains of HPV. Additionally, a person should not use these tests as a replacement for a Pap smear or other health screenings.
Can I test for HPV at home?
Yes, it is possible to test for HPV at home. People can buy an HPV test from an online testing company such as Nurx or Everlywell.
A more accessible and affordable test is a vinegar test. This can indicate the presence of HPV by turning genital warts white. A person applies a small amount of vinegar to the genital area using a cotton swab. If there are any invisible genital warts present, these will turn white within minutes.
This test is an affordable and accessible alternative to lab HPV tests that scientists developed to help females in developing countries access HPV testing.
What is the best test for HPV?
The best HPV test is one that tests for a wide range of high-risk strains of HPV. The best at-home HPV tests will offer access to a medical team for advice, discreet shipping, and fast turnaround times for results.
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, 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.