It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex. HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms
What is HPV?
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease prevalent among sexually active men and women. There are several strains of this virus causing a wide range of conditions like genital warts, cancer of cervix, vagina, penis, etc. A large number of sexually active people especially women are affected with Human Papillomavirus with severe consequences.
What are the symptoms of HPV in women?
- Genital warts: These are small, nearly flat lesions or protrusions that appear on the skin surface. In women, these may occur on vulva, vagina, anus or cervix.
- Common warts: These can also appear as a symptom of HPV on the skin of fingers, hands, and elbows.
- Cervical cancer: It is the most important symptom of HPV infection since warts don’t always show up as a result of which women may remain unaware of the Human Papilliomavirus infection. Early stages, however, don’t show the symptoms but when left untreated or with repeated infection by HPV the lesions may grow cancerous and lead to serious cervical cancer.
How does HPV spread?
The Human Papilliomavirus spreads through direct sexual contact especially through vaginal and anal sex with a partner infected with HPV. The symptoms may not show up to a couple of years as a result of which you may not have the hint of the infection.
How is HPV infection diagnosed?
Among women, the infected are diagnosed by Pap Smear Test revealing cervical cancer and HPV tests can detect the infection. The Pap smear test involves the examination of some cells taken from the cervix to detect any changes in the cervix.
How can HPV be treated?
While Human Papilliomavirus infection is not curable totally, but women who stay sexually healthy, physically active and don’t smoke have a robust immune system to fight the disease and clear it naturally with time. Genital warts are entirely curable since there are a variety of methods like using the tropical ointment, freezing, surgery, etc.
How can HPV be prevented?
- Vaccination against HPV can reduce the risk of cervical cancer to a great extent.
- Regular visits to your gynecologist and annual pap smear tests can be done by sexually active women to keep track of their health.
- Use of condoms can’t eliminate but reduce the risk of contacting and spread of HPV.
It doesn’t matter whether you have one or many sexual partners, the Human Papilliomavirus can even infect you with serious condition consequences if left undetected. Maintain a healthy sexual relationship with proper knowledge of the health of your partner to reduce the risk of infection. Regular check-ups can help women keep track of their health and detect the HPV infection if any.