The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. In this issue, we will guide you through everything you should know about it.
Consider these data: Millions of women and men have been diagnosed with the HPV, which is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world. It is also a virus responsible for 99.7% of cases of cervical cancer. Condoms do not guarantee total protection. And they have not yet found the cure for it.
However, although HPV may end up in cancer, doctors say there is no reason to panic. When someone is diagnosed with the virus, he is often told that it is not so serious. Yet, you have to know what it is about and what couples should know, too.
A considerable number of women will contract the HPV before their 35th birthday. In general, women tend to have more sexual partners at the end of their 20s and early 30s. This disease is so common because there are more than 100 different types of the virus. The most dangerous are those that can cause cervical cancer (around 18 types). Low-risk genital warts are benign. It is almost impossible to be sexually active and not be exposed.
Although this virus is related to cervical cancer, women should not be worried. While studies show that the HPV leads to almost all cases of cervical cancer, this cancer is still relatively rare. If between 50 to 75% of the population has the virus, you will understand that it is unusual for this to present a serious danger of getting cancer.
Some 30 types of the HPV can cause genital warts that, although we do not deny that they are bothersome, they are the types that are not associated with cancer. Of course, it should not be ignored either. Warts are contagious and could be an indicator that you have other series of viruses that cause cancer since usually, a person infects with more than one type at the same time.
If you are diagnosed with a venereal disease, you should do the analysis to detect others, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. Warts usually look like clusters of cauliflower and although they do not cause pain, the treatment is not always pleasant.
If they do not disappear, your gynecologist may burn them. Or treat them with injections or a topical cream. Self-examining using a mirror to detect if there are warts on your vulva and before turning off the light examine your partner also.
Apart from abstinence, condoms are your best defense against the HPV. But they are not a total guarantee. The virus is so contagious that it can be transmitted just by touching your partner’s genitals and then yours.
Doctors do not mean exactly that condoms do not prevent infection, because we do not want people to have an excuse for not using them. A good reason not to throw away condoms other than to protect yourself from other venereal diseases like HIV is that they help fight the virus if you contract it.
The most dangerous types of this virus that can cause cancer rarely show symptoms. In fact, most of the millions of people who have HPV will never know that they are infected. So it is recommended that you take regular examinations via your health care provider to protect your health.
This venereal disease is so widespread it is rarely fatal, thanks to a simple pap smear that can detect the early stages of cancer. A suspicious symptom or an infection can give an abnormal result. The most common is the so-called atypical squamous cells of undetermined cause.
What does this mean? Simply that there are certain changes in the cells of the cervix that require a 2nd look. In most cases, these sequels have not even become precancerous; it just means that something could be wrong. Changes may be simply caused by a vaginal infection or by the use of tampons.
Very often, time cure viruses. In most cases, the immune system itself eliminates them. That is why many doctors prefer to wait and ask you to come back 6 months later, to apply another test on you.