What does HPV stand for?
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted illness or infection. HPV is an abbreviation that stands for human papillomavirus. It is a relatively common occurrence. Plenty of people who have this, do not experience or show any kind of symptoms, and for some, the infection may resolve on its own. However, some kinds of HPV can be the cause of cervical cancer, head and neck cancer, and anus or even penis cancer.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is not just one single virus. It is more than that. There are over a hundred different types of HPV, some of which are a lot riskier than others. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can be spread from one person to another person by skin-to-skin contact. Of these over 100 different types of HPV, more than 40 are the ones that can be transmitted through sexual contact, and it can affect your genitals, mouth, and your throat.
HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted illnesses out there, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is so prevalent that even if a person only had a few sexual partners in his/ her life, most sexually active people will somehow experience it at some point.
There are some incidences of genital HPV infection that do not result in any serious health issues. But some HPV strains, on the other hand, can cause genital warts and malignancies of the cervix, the anus, and the throat.
Each variety of human papillomavirus has its very own unique number. The name “papilloma” does refer to a form of wart that is caused by certain HPV strains.
HPV can be found in epithelial cells, which are some thin, flat cells. These are the cells that are present on the surface of your skin. They can also be present on the vaginal surface, your anus, vulva, cervix, and even penis head. Inside the mouth and throat, they are also discovered.
Warts on the hands and feet can be simply caused by about 60 of the 100 HPV strains. The remaining 40 or so are known to be absorbed into the body during sexual contact. They are drawn to the mucous membranes of the human body, particularly the wet layers around your anus and genitals.
Not all these 40 human papillomaviruses that are sexually transmitted tend to produce major health concerns. HPV 16 and 18, which do result in causing around 70% of cervical malignancies, are the high-risk HPV strains. Human papillomaviruses 31, 33, 45, 52, 58, and a few more are all high-risk variants.
About 90% of the overall genital warts are caused by low-risk HPV strains like HPV 6 and 11, which seldom progress to malignancy. These growths may slowly appear as bumps. They are sometimes shaped like a cauliflower. After having sexual intercourse with an infected partner, warts can easily appear weeks or maybe even months later.
Here are some of the symptoms of HPV
HPV infections frequently do not seem to cause any symptoms, and the virus can be cleared by the body on its very own after a few years. Many people are quite unaware that they have been infected with HPV.
However, infections with high-risk HPV strains can sometimes remain a lot longer. This can lead to cervix cell alterations that can lead to cancer, including vulvar carcinoma. It is possible that the same substance does cause aberrant alterations in the anus cells and penis, but this is still uncommon.
Warts are another indication of a low-risk HPV infection. The type of warts you may develop will be determined by the type of HPV you have.
Warts on the genital area are another symptom. These are either elevated lumps or flat patches. They commonly appear on the vulva in women, although they can also appear on the cervix, the anus, or the vagina. They can be found on the anus, penis, or scrotum in men.
You can count on warts as a common trait. Rough lumps that commonly appear on the person’s palms and fingers can be considered a symptom.
Plantar warts are warts on the soles of the feet. Now, these plantar warts are known to be painful, hard, gritty lumps on the bottom of your foot.
Another one is having flat warts. These are flat-topped, slightly elevated dots. They can be seen almost anywhere, although they are most abundant on the legs and the face.
What are the causes of HPV?
HPV infection is spread from one person to another person through skin-to-skin contact. The majority of people contract genital HPV through direct sexual contact, which includes vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse. Intercourse also is not required for HPV transmission because it is a skin-to-skin infection.
Many people have HPV and are not much aware of it, which means you can catch it even if your partner does not have any symptoms. It is also possible to have a variety of HPV kinds.
In rare situations, an HPV-positive mother tends to pass down the infection to her infant after its birth. When this situation happens, the child may develop recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a disorder in which HPV-related warts appear in the child’s throat or airways.
Men having HPV
Many men who do catch HPV have no symptoms, while some may develop genital warts as a result of the virus. If you tend to find any strange bumps or lesions on your penis, scrotum, or anus, do see your doctor. Some HPV strains can also cause cancer in the penile, anal, and throat in men. Males who seem to have anal sex and men with a weaker immune system may be at a higher risk of developing HPV-related malignancies.
The HPV strains that cause genital warts surely do differ from those that cause cancer.
Females having HPV
According to statistics, 80 percent of women are sure to catch at least one kind of HPV at some time in their lives. Many women who receive this HPV have not much or no symptoms at all and the infection also go away without creating any health problems, just like in males.
Genital warts, which can occur inside the female vagina, in or around their anus, and on the cervix or vulva, may be seen in some women. If you do discover any inexplicable bumps or growths in or around your genital area, make sure you fix an appointment with your doctor.
Cervical cancer, as well as other malignancies of the vaginal, anus, and throat, can be caused by some HPV strains. Cervical cancer alterations in women can easily be detected with regular screening. Furthermore, HPV strains linked to genital malignancies can be detected using DNA tests on cervical cells.
Treatments for HPV
Because most cases of HPV have a trait of resolving on their own, there is no specific therapy for this virus. Instead, your doctor will most likely want you to come in for some follow-up testing in a year to evaluate if the HPV infection has persisted and if any cell abnormalities have emerged that require further investigation.
Prescription drugs, liquid nitrogen freezing, or electrical current burning, can all be used to cure genital warts. However, removing physical warts does not seem to be the solution to treating the virus, and warts may also reappear.
Precancerous cells can be eliminated in a quick surgery at your doctor’s office. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery are all options for treating HPV-related cancers. Multiple methods may be used in some cases. There are presently not many available natural treatments for HPV infection that are medically supported.
Routine HPV and cervical cancer screening are critical for detecting, monitoring, and treating health problems that may arise because of this HPV infection. Do examine your HPV treatment choices.
What is the best way to obtain HPV?
HPV infection can happen to simply anyone who has had sexual skin-to-skin contact with another. Some other factors that may also enhance one person’s chances of contracting HPV include:
- the number of sexual partners increasing
- having an HPV-positive sexual partner having unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse having a weakened immune system
- If you have a high-risk type of HPV, there are a few things that can make it more likely that the infection will spread and lead to cancer: a weakened immune system having an HPV-positive sexual partner
- If you have a high-risk type of HPV, there are a few things that can make it more likely that the infection will spread and lead to cancer:
- a compromised immune system
- Other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes simplex
- Ongoing Inflammation
- having a large family (cervical cancer)
- Using oral contraceptives for a long time is not recommended (cervical cancer)
- tobacco goods are used (mouth or throat cancer)
- sex with anal sex (anal cancer)
Prevention of HPV
Using condoms and practicing safe sex are the easiest strategies to avoid HPV. In addition, for the prevention of genital warts and malignancies caused by HPV, the Gardasil 9 vaccine is available. The vaccine can protect against nine different strains of HPV that have been linked to cancer or genital warts.
The HPV vaccine is recommended by the CDC for boys and girls aged 11 to 12. The vaccine is administered in two doses, at least six months apart. Women and males between the ages of 15 and 26 can also get vaccinated in three doses.
Additionally, those between the ages of 27 and 45 who have never been vaccinated against HPV are now eligible for Gardasil 9 immunization. Make sure you receive regular health exams, screenings, and Pap smears to avoid HPV-related health concerns. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of HPV vaccination.
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