There are more than 30 types of human papillomavirus (HPV) variants that can infect your genitals. These include harmless types of HPV, such as those that cause genital warts. Only some kinds of HPV are classified as “high risk” since they can lead to cervical cancer. Your women’s health Boca Raton healthcare physician may usually identify genital warts simply by looking. Because high-risk strains of HPV do not create symptoms, you will most likely discover an infection through a normal Pap smear or HPV test.
HPV is a sexually transmitted infection. HPV is an abbreviation for human papillomavirus, and it’s rather common. Many people have no symptoms, and the infection may resolve on its own. However, some kinds of HPV can cause cervical cancer, head and neck cancer, or anus or penis cancer. HPV is more than one virus. There are around 100 different types, some being more dangerous than others.
Prevalent symptoms of HPV
HPV infections frequently cause no symptoms, and the body clears the virus on its own after a few years. Many people are unaware that they have HPV. However, an infection with high-risk forms of HPV can linger long. This can trigger alterations in the cervix’s cells, leading to cancer, including vulvar carcinoma. Although this is uncommon, the same substance might produce abnormal alterations in the penis and anus cells. Warts are indications of a low-risk HPV infection. The type of warts you develop will be determined by the type of HPV you have.
- Genital warts: These might be either flat or elevated bumps. They commonly appear on the vulva in women, although they can also appear on the anus, cervix, or vagina. Conversely, they land on the penis, scrotum, or anus in men.
- Common warts: These rough lumps are commonly found on the hands and fingers.
- Plantar warts: These warts are painful, hard, granular lumps on the bottom of your foot.
- Flat warts: These are elevated areas with a flat top. They can appear everywhere, although they are most frequent on the face and legs.
The relation between HPV and cervical cancer
Certain HPV strains (most often types 16 and 18) might induce abnormalities in your cervix’s cells, a disease known as cervical dysplasia. The opening between the vagina and your uterus is known as the cervix. Cervical dysplasia can develop into cervical cancer if left untreated. Most HPV infections resolve on their own in those under 30. Finding HPV during a Pap smear (a test that detects cervical cancer) around the age of 30 can affect how frequently you should be screened. If you test positive, you may be more susceptible and require more regular testing. It is critical to get frequent Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. However, just because you have HPV or cervical dysplasia does not indicate you will get cancer.
HPV infections are relatively prevalent and are normally cleared by the body’s immune system. In certain situations, the infection might remain in the body and create health concerns. The HPV vaccination and frequent cervical screening lower the risk of certain health issues. Call MyDoc Women’s Health Specialists to schedule your consultation today to learn more about various HPV therapies that work best for you.