All You Need to Know About HPV and Genital Warts
HPV is an abbreviation for human papillomavirus. It is a widespread virus that causes a variety of diseases in both women and men.
Now it is about 100 different types of human papillomavirus that are known. 80 out of them are pretty good studied. Different types of the virus can cause various diseases and approximately 30 types cause damage to female genitals.
The most dangerous types are those with high oncological risk – HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51 and 52.
The most important and dangerous kinds of papillomavirus infection in women are peaked and flat condylomas as they can cause dysplasia (precancer), and cervical cancer.
How HPV is Contracted?
The HPV is transmitted by sexual contact and at home in contact with the skin or mucous membranes of an infected person. When we’re talking about genital warts – the probability of getting infection is close to 100%. The use of a condom does not always prevent it, but it reduces the likelihood of infection.
What are the Symptoms of HPV and Genital Warts?
Many HPVs have no symptoms at all. One of the most noticeable signs are visible genital warts that can be located in the vagina or urethra, sometimes you can find them on the cervix, vulva, penis, or anus. In very rare cases humans mouth or throat could be infected. Warts has the same colour as the rest of your skin and they are soft to the touch. If you found warts in one part of your body – check it all, as they can be located more than in one zone. Also some people said that they felt itching at the places of HPV location.
Is There Any Test That Can Identify HPV and Warts?
The most common is PCR analysis, which allows not only to detect HPV, but also to specify its type. However, it is better to use a quantitative HPV test. This method allows you to determine the critical concentration of the virus, which is directly related to the risk of malignancy. Such analysis also makes it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment, since it does not always possible to completely get rid of the virus, but treatment reduces its activity.
Papillomavirus infection can be detected during vulva and cervix examination. The doctor takes smears for carrying out the HPV test, as well as a smear on oncocytology from the cervical surface, which allows you to evaluate the cells covering it.
If HPV is detected, compulsory colposcopy is performed – special tests to reveal the hidden pathology of the cervix.
HPV and Genital Warts Treatment
Currently, there is no antiviral drug that would cause the destruction of the human papillomavirus from the body. Various interferons (reaferon, cicloferon and others) and interferon ogens (paludan, prodigiosin and others) can reduce already existing condylomas, but they can’t reduce the incidence of new ones. The main way to treat manifestations of papillomavirus infection is still its removal by chemical or surgical methods.
During pregnancy, visible condylomas often recur, tend to proliferate and become friable. Treatment of papillomas in pregnant women is desirable on initial stages. It is recommended to use only physical methods (cryotherapy and laser). Antiviral drugs are contraindicated for pregnant women.
What Would be If You Will not Treat HPV?
Expanded condylomas can:
- Be injured and bleed.
- Prevent a normal sexual life.
- Be a disturbing cosmetic defect.
- Cause psychological discomfort.
- Prevent normal childbirth.
Note: For those HPV that are linked to cervical cancer absence of treatment can be fatal.
You can read more about HPV here.
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