Health Check

Can A Missed Period Be A Sign Of HPV In Women?

Written By Sanyukta Chavan - January 03, 2024
Read Time - 3 min read

Most women might experience a missed or late period at some point in their life. And, there could be many reasons for the same - right from pregnancy to menopause, excessive stress and exercise, sudden weight changes or certain medical conditions.1 But, have you ever wondered if Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) such as HPV (Human Papillomavirus) could be one of the reasons behind it? Yes, you read that right! 

Some women tend to get confused about a missed period being a sign of an STD. So, to clear this doubt, read this blog and stay updated on the symptoms of HPV in women. Let’s get started!

Is HPV In Women The Reason Behind A Missed Period? 

Most women get their periods in 28 days or so, but at times they might have a shorter or longer menstrual cycle i.e. from 21 to 40 days. On the other hand, some women may not always have regular menstrual cycles along with variations in duration and the amount of period flow.1 There could be a number of reasons behind this such as:1

  • Stress
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Excessive exercise
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Certain medical conditions (diabetes or thyroid)

Is Missed Period A Symptom Of HPV In Women?

The answer is - No. HPV cannot make you miss your period, but might cause spotting in between periods if it's a high-risk HPV infection.2 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 43 million HPV infections were reported in the year 2018.3 And, around 200 types of HPV have been identified out of which 40 are seen to infect the genital area.4 CDC also estimates that, in 9 out of 10 cases, HPV goes away on its own (within 2 years) without causing any issues.3 But, if the infection does not decline, it may cause health issues like genital warts and cancer.3 Here’s a gist about them.

HPV And Genital Warts

Genital warts are caused by HPV types 6 and 11.5 It usually appears as a small bump or group of bumps in the genital area of an infected person.3 A few symptoms to look out for are:6

  • one or more lumps or growths near your vagina/anus
  • bleeding or itching from your genitals/anus
  • change in the flow of your pee (it may flow sideways)

HPV And Cancer

The most common HPV-associated cancer is cervical cancer which develops in the cervix (lower part of the uterus).7 The normal cells in the cervix turn precancerous when they first develop abnormal changes. And, when these pre-cancers are examined in the lab, they are graded on a scale of 1 to 3 depending on the abnormality of the cervical tissue.8

If the high-risk HPV infection is not treated in time it can develop into cervical cancer. High-risk HPV infections often do not exhibit any symptoms. However, you can look out for a few tell-tale signs:9

  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods, after sexual intercourse or after a pelvic examination
  • Heavier and longer periods
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful intercourse

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cervical cancer might take 15 to 20 years to develop in a normal woman or 5 to 10 years if she has a weakened immune system.10 However, the good news is that cervical cancer can be treated if detected early. And, one of the best ways to diagnose cervical cancer is to get screened on a regular basis.8 

To know more details about cervical cancer and HPV in women read this blog: Cervical Cancer And HPV - What's The Link?

Let’s Wrap Up…

If you’ve missed out on your period, don’t panic! It could be due to various reasons. But, if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms it is advisable to get tested or consult your doctor as soon as possible to learn the actual cause. 

There are a number of screening tests available to diagnose HPV in women. But, if you’re looking for an at-home test kit, “LifeCell’s HPV Test - Female” can help! This kit screens for 24 high-risk HPV strains linked to cervical cancer right from the comfort of your home. Early testing and detection of HPV can keep you informed to take appropriate measures for a healthy future.



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