HPV or Genital Warts: Testing and Treatment
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most frequently transmitted sexual virus (STD & STI) within the United States & HPV vaccines can stop certain health risks HPV can cause. Iowa Women’s Health Center treats HPV.
What is HPV or Genital Warts?
HPV is one of the most prevalent STIs. There were around 43 million HPV infections in 2018, the majority of which were among people aged between their teens and early 20s. There are many HPV types. Certain kinds can lead to health issues, such as warts on the genital area and cancers. There are vaccines available that can help prevent these issues from occurring. HPV is a distinct virus as HIV and HSV(herpes).
How does HPV spread?
It is possible to contract HPV when you have vaginal, oral, or anal sexual contact with someone carrying the virus. The most common way to spread it is through vaginal or sexual contact. However, close skin-to-skin contact can also be transmitted during sexual sex. In addition, someone suffering from HPV may give the virus to someone else even though they have no symptoms. Asymptomatic carriers are a severe problem for people and the main reason we suggest the vaccine for teens.
If you’re engaged in sexual activity, you could be infected with HPV even if you have had sexual relations with just one person. It is also possible to develop symptoms long after having sexual relations with someone with HPV. This can make it difficult to pinpoint when you first came across it.
Does HPV cause health problems?
In most instances (9 /10), HPV goes away completely on its own in two years, without health issues. However, if HPV isn’t gone, it could cause health issues such as genital warts and cancer.
Genital warts are typically seen as a bump of a smaller size or cluster of bumps within the genital region. They may be large or small and flat or raised or in the shape of an onion. The healthcare professional can generally detect warts by looking at the genital region.
Does HPV cause cancer?
HPV may cause cervical or various types of cancer including cancer of the vulva, penis, vagina, or anus. It may also cause cancer of the throat’s back (called oropharyngeal cancer). It can affect the upper and lower tongue, as well as the tonsils.
Cancer can take many years, sometimes even decades, to develop once a person receives HPV. The development of cancers and warts in the genital area comes from different forms of HPV.
The only way is to know who might suffer from cancer or have other health issues due to HPV. People who have a poor immune system (including HIV) could be less effective in fighting HPV. They could also be more susceptible to developing health issues due to HPV.
What can I do to avoid HPV, as well as the health issues it can bring about?
There are several ways to decrease your chance of contracting HPV.
Get Vaccinated! The HPV vaccine is safe and efficient. It protects against the spread of diseases (including cancers) caused by HPV when given within the recommended age ranges. (See “Who should be vaccination?” below.)
Be screened to detect cervical cancer. Regular screening for women between 21 and 65 can help prevent cervical cancer.
If you’re physically active
- Make sure you use condoms correctly each time you have sexual contact. This will reduce your risk of contracting HPV. However, HPV can be found in areas that condom doesn’t cover. So, condoms won’t completely protect you from getting HPV or
- You must be in a monogamous relationship or exclusive sex with someone who has only sex with you.
Who should receive HPV vaccination? HPV vaccine?
CDC recommends HPV vaccination for:
- Preteens of all ages (including girls and boys) aged 11 or 12 years old (or could start as young as 9 years old).
- Anyone over the age of 26 If they have not been vaccinated yet.
The vaccination is not recommended for those older than 26 years old. However, some individuals aged between 27 and 45 who haven’t been vaccination-free may opt to receive an HPV vaccine after consulting with their physician about the risk of new HPV infections and the potential advantages of the vaccination. An HPV vaccination at this age provides fewer benefits. Most sexually active people are already exposed to HPV; however, not all HPV kinds are targeted through immunization.
At any age, the pleasure of a new partner can be an indicator of risk for contracting an HPV infection. If you are already in an ongoing, monogamous relationship are less likely to develop the new HPV infection.
What can I do to determine whether I’m suffering from HPV?
There isn’t a test that can determine an individual’s “HPV condition.” In addition, there is no official HPV test that can detect HPV in the throat or mouth.
The tests are HPV tests that can detect the possibility of cervical cancer. Healthcare professionals only employ these tests to screen 30 years old or older women. HPV tests cannot be suggested for screening men, teenagers, or women under 30 years of age.
Many people who have HPV do not realize they have the virus. They do not experience any symptoms or develop health issues from the virus. People may discover that they suffer from HPV when they experience warts in the genital area. Women might suffer from HPV when they receive the wrong Pap results (during the screening for cervical cancer). Some women may only discover after having more severe issues due to HPV, including cancer.
How prevalent is HPV and health issues that result from HPV?
HPV (the virus): CDC estimates that there were 43 million HPV infections in the year 2018. In the same year, it was reported that there had been 13 million newly diagnosed cases. HPV is so widespread that virtually every person who sexually engages will contract HPV in the future if they do not get the vaccination.
Health issues associated with HPV includes genital warts, as well as cervical cancer.
Genital warts Before HPV vaccines warts on the genital area caused by HPV affected between 340,000 and 360,000 people annually. Around one-in-100 adult sexually active people across the U.S. has genital warts at any time.
Cancer of the cervical cavity:Every each year more than 12,000 women within the U.S. will have cervical cancer. Over 4,000 females die due to cervical cancer, despite testing and therapy.
There are also other diseases or tumors that are caused by HPV that are found in people across the United States. Each year, around 19400 women and 12,100 males are diagnosed with cancers that are caused by HPV.
These figures only consider the percentage of patients seeking treatment for warts that are genital. This number may be less than the real number of people who suffer from warts on the genital area.
I’m pregnant. Does having HPV impact my pregnancy?
Pregnant women who have HPV may develop warts in the genital area or have abnormal cell changes on their cervical. A routine cervical cancer screening will assist in identifying abnormal cell growth. It is recommended to undergo routine cervical cancer screenings, regardless of whether you expect it.
Do you have treatment options that address HPV or health issues resulting from HPV?
There isn’t a cure for the virus in itself. But, there are treatment options for health issues that HPV causes:
- Genital warts can disappear through treatment by your physician or prescription medicines. If untreated warts on the genital area can be gone, remain the same, or increase in size or.
- Cervical Precancer treatment are available. Women who undergo regular Pap tests and then follow up when needed may spot problems prior to cancer is able to develop. Prevention is always better than treating.
- Additional HPV related cancers are more curable if discovered and treated earlier.