HPV and Warts in Women

Human Papilloma Virus or HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. About 80 percent of women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lifetime. It is usually spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Many women do not know they have HPV, because it usually has no symptoms and usually goes away on its own. Some types of HPV can cause illnesses such as genital warts or cervical cancer. There is a vaccine to help you prevent HPV.

How is HPV spread;

HPV can spread through:

  • Vaginal, oral or anal sex. HPV can be passed even when there are no signs or symptoms.
  • Genital touching. Ejaculation is not essential for HPV to spread. HPV can also be passed between women who have sex with women.
  • Childbirth. It can be transmitted from a woman to her baby during childbirth.

What are the symptoms of HPV?

Most people with HPV do not have any symptoms. This is one reason why women need regular Pap tests. Experts recommend that you get your first Pap test at age 21. The Pap test can find changes on the cervix caused by HPV. If you are a woman between ages 30 and 65, your doctor might also do an HPV test with your Pap test every five years. This is a DNA test that detects most types of HPV.

The symptoms of an HPV infections are warts in the genital area of women. They appear as a small bump or group of bumps. The lesions may be raised or flat, small or large, or shaped like a cauliflower. The diagnosis is performed through visual check.

What health problems are caused by HPV?

HPV infections usually go away by themselves without causing health problems, but when they don’t go away, certain health problems may occur, such as:

  • Cervical cancer .
  • Other types of genital cancers, such as cancer of the vulva, vagina or anus.
  • Oropharyngeal cancer, cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.
  • Genital warts.
  • Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a rare disease that can cause warts in the respiratory tract.

How does HPV affect Pregnancy?

HPV does not affect the chances of conception, but it can cause problems during pregnancy.

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Certain possible problems during pregnancy include:

  • Changes in cervical cells. Continue regular cervical cancer screening during and after pregnancy to identify any changes.
  • Genital warts that are bleeding and multiplying. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may cause increase in the number and bleeding of the warts.
  • Caesarean section. If the warts are blocking the birth canal, Caesarean section may be required.
  • Health problems to the baby. A woman who has HPV infection in the genital area may, very rarely, transfer it to her baby. Babies and children may develop warts in the airways due to HPV. This rare but possible severe condition is called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.

Can HPV be cured?

No, HPV has no cure. Most often, HPV goes away on its own. However, there are treatments for the genital warts, such as:

  • Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen
  • Co2 LASER
  • Sublimation using RF Diathermocoagulation
  • Conventional surgical removal
  • Treatment with chemical agents

How can I prevent HPV infection?

There are two ways to prevent HPV. One way is to get an HPV vaccine. The other way to prevent HPV or any other Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) is to abstain from sex.

If you do have sex, lower your risk of getting an infection with the following:

  • Use condoms in each contact. Nevertheless, condoms do not offer 100% protection from the virus, because HPV can infect the uncovered genital areas.
  • Avoid vaginal douching. They remove some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protect you from infection. This may increase your risk of getting STDs.
  • Limit your number of sex partners.
  • Be monogamous.

See the other categories on warts and call us on 216 900 5000 to evaluate your condition or answer any questions you may have:

Oral Warts

Warts and Cancer

Penile Warts

Anal Warts

Warts in Women

Vaginal Warts

Vulvar Warts