The Genital Infection ­­- HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

The human papillomavirus is a very common sexually transmitted disease that is unlike herpes and the popular HIV. There are a lot of HPV kinds, some of which have been known to cause certain issues with health, such as cancers, genital warts etc. However, some vaccinations can prevent the development of these other health issues.

Genital warts that are caused by this virus usually have the appearance of a group of bumps or a little bump, and they can be diagnosed by a healthcare provider by looking around the genital area. These warts can take different shapes and sizes. 

How Does HPV Lead To The Development Of Certain Health Issues?

As earlier stated, the virus has been known to cause diseases such as cancer and genital warts. However, this only happens when the virus does not naturally disappear on its own. This is because the HPV has been discovered to disappear on its own in themajority of cases. It is when it doesn’t leave that it can lead to these further diseases.

How Is The HPV Transmitted?

The HPV is usually transmitted during sexual intercourse. That is, anyone can get the virus by just having vaginal sex, anal sex or oral sex which most people seem to overlook. A sexually active individual can get the virus even if the individual has copulated with just one sex partner.

Also, it is difficult to know when one first got infected with the disease because an individual may develop the symptoms of the virus as far as some years after the person has copulated with the infected person.

The Relationship Between The HPV And Cancer

The HPV can lead to deadly cervical issues and cancers alike. It can develop into oropharyngeal cancer — that is cancer, in the base of the tongue and tonsils. It can also cause cancer of the vagina, penis, vulva, and anus and also in the back of the throat.

Although there is no particular method to determine which HPV infected individuals will later develop various medical conditions such as cancer, however, the odds are that individuals with immune systems that aren’t strong are probably going to develop otherhealth issues since they may beunableto battle the HPV.

Furthermore, the kinds of HPV that develop cancers are not similar to the ones that develop into genital warts. When an individual has HPV that generatescancer, it usually takes years or even decades before cancer manifests.

How To Prevent HPV And The Related Medical Issues It Can Develop

There are several things an individual can do to decrease the risk of contracting HPV. They include:

  • The best way to prevent HPV is to practice abstinence or to have a mutually faithful relationship. Thismeans you are faithful and having sexual activitieswith only one partner andit’s vice versa too.
  • If you feel you are sexually active and can’tpractice monogamous relationship, then make sure you use latex condoms whenever you want to have sex. However, this may not be fully effective as the HPV may still infect areas that may not have been completely covered by the condom. Nonetheless, it reduces the risk of getting the disease to a certain degree.
  • It is important to also receive vaccinations. The HPV vaccine is effective and secure. It would help to protect against the diseases that the HPV can develop into, including cancers. Also, for women between the age brackets of 21 to 65 years, getting routine screening for cervical cancer or any cancer type can help to prevent it.

To What Degree Is The HPV Alongside Other Health Issues It Develops Prevalent?

The HPV is so prevalent that almost everyone and anyone that is sexually active will acquire the virus at a stage in their life if they don’t succumb to the HPV vaccine.

As a matter of fact, the HPV is so prevalent that every year, an estimate of fourteen million people become newly infected and an estimate of 79 million Americans are presently infected with it.

Health issues that are generated from HPV

  1. Cervical cancer

According to a study, annually, an estimate of about 12,000 women living in the US will be diagnosed to have cervical cancer, and although screening and treatment may help to an extent, more than 4,000 women still die as a result of cancer.

Annually, an approximate total of 12,100 men and 19,400 women in the US, are affected by many other medical issues and cancers that develop from being infected with HPV.

  1. For Genital Warts

Study has shown that an estimate of 1 person out of every100 sexually active adults will be infected with HPV if they don't get vaccinated with the HPV vaccine at one point or the other in their life. Before the introduction of HPV vaccinations, a rough estimation of 340,000 to 360,000 men and women were usually affected by genital warts caused by the HPV.

HPV Vaccines Are For Who?

Firstly, the HPV vaccine is also for gay and bisexual men through age 26. Also, men and women with a weak immune system should take the vaccine through age 26 also, especially if they were not fully vaccinated when they were much younger.

The vaccine is also recommended for boys and girls aged 11 to 12 years. Catch-up vaccinations are advised for girls and women through age 26 and for boys and men through age 21.

How To Diagnose If You Have HPV

There really are no medical tests or procedures to diagnose if an individual has the human papillomavirus; neither is there any globally acceptable means to detect HPV in the throat or mouth. This is the reason, why we earlier stated that a lot of people who have been infected with the HPV are generally unaware of it and may never develop any further medical or health issues from it.

In some cases, genital warts are the method some individuals use to diagnose that they have been infected with HPV and some other people may diagnose it the moment they begin to have the complicated health issues that spring from HPV, such as cancers. However, women may be diagnosed with HPV when they go for an abnormal Pap test result during their screening for cervical cancer.

Generally, HPV tests are not recommended to diagnose adolescents, women or men that are below the age of 30 years old. However, for women that are 30 years and above, certain HPV tests can be used to diagnose the women for the status of cervical cancer.

Will HPV Affect The Pregnancy Of A Pregnant Woman?

It is medically advisable and safe for a pregnant woman who has the HPV to get routine cervical tests. This is because the woman can develop irregular changes in the cells of her cervix or even have genital warts. These irregular changes can be detected when and if she goes for a routine cervical test.

What Are The Treatment Options For HPV And The Related Health Issues That Are Developed From The Virus?

Although there is not yet a treatment to curb the virus itself, however, there are treatments to combat the related health issues that may spring forth from HPV.

  • Cervical precancer: Luckily, this medical problem can be treated. However, it is best to prevent having it than to look for cures or treatment options. Women who go for routine Pap tests and follow up as required can quickly be diagnosed with the issue before it further develops.
  • Genital warts: If left untreated, genital warts may leave on their own, remain as they are or multiply in size and number. However, your healthcare provider can treat the problem or prescribe certain medications to treat the medical problem.
  • Other cancers that develop from HPV are best treated when infected individuals go for teststo be diagnosed and receive treatment early.

Do You Want To Know More?

You can always visit us at Women's Healthcare partners London for more details.