HPV stands for the Human Papilloma Virus. HPV can be sexually transmitted and, if untreated, can lead to cervical cancer in women. There are roughly 100 strands of HPV that affect humans. Thirty of those are sexually transmitted infections.
What Is HPV and How Common Is It?
HPV is an extremely common virus. Many people get HPV and have no symptoms. HPV that affects the genitals is probably the most common of the HPV viruses. According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately 79 million Americans have HPV and roughly 13 million people get it each year.
How Do You Get HPV? | Symptoms of HPV in Women
You can acquire HPV by having contact with someone infected with HPV. This could be vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Some people get genital warts from HPV while others may have no symptoms at all.
If you are a woman with genital warts, you may find genital warts in the following areas:
- On the outer female genital area (the vulva)
- In or around the vagina
- In or around the anus
- On the groin
- On the cervix
How Is HPV Treated?
There is no cure for the virus itself, but most HPV infections go away on their own. Roughly 70 percent to 90 percent of HPV is actually cleared from your body by your immune system.
If you do develop genital warts from HPV, your doctor will either scrape the warts off, burn them off or give you a cream to remove the warts.
Do Your Part to Reduce Your Risk of Getting HPV
While HPV may go unnoticed in many men and women, that means it’s hard to detect if you have it or if your partner has it. To be on the safe side, wear a condom when you are having sexual intercourse. However, a condom does not cover your entire genital area, so they are not 100 percent effective.
If you have visible warts, then consult your doctor right away. They can give you a number of different solutions to get rid of your warts.
Women should also gather more information about HPV vaccinations, such as Gardasil. To learn more about some of our services, including vaccinations, click here:
HPV and Cancer
Severe HPV infections can cause cancer in the vagina, vulva, anus, penis, and throat. Cervical cancer is the type of cancer most often caused by HPV.
As stated above, most HPV infections go away on their own. However, in severe infections the HPV cells can become abnormal and cancerous if not treated right away.
Can Men Get HPV? | Symptoms of HPV in Men
Yes, men can get HPV. They usually will find warts on their penis, scrotum, anus, or groin. However, there is no testing for HPV for men. Since most symptoms go unnoticed, the only time it’s known that a man has HPV is if there are visible warts. Unfortunately, diagnosing HPV in men is very difficult. It doesn’t typically affect their overall health, but it is still important for men to be safe and pay attention to their bodies.
Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for Care
If you or someone you know is in need of HPV vaccines or STI testing, please contact us today. It’s always best to be informed, so we urge everyone to get STI testing. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.