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Human Papillomavirus Myths — an article on the Smart Living Network
May 6, 2008 at 4:53 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Human Papillomavirus Myths

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There are many misconceptions and myths that stem from the topic of human papillomavirus (HPV) on how it is contracted, its symptoms and how to treat it. Here are some answers to some of those commonly mistaken theories.

Myth #1: You can acquire HPV from more than just sexual contact.

People may think that HPV can be caused from sitting on a toilet seat that someone with HPV has sat on, having an abortion performed or you are more likely to get it from having sexual intercourse during a menstrual cycle. All of these assumptions are false because HPV is contracted through sexual contact with someone who is already infected with it. A person who has intercourse with a person who has HPV while on their period still may get HPV, but it is not an increased risk.

Myth #2: HPV lessens the ability to become pregnant.

HPV does not make it more difficult to get pregnant and does not cause miscarriages. HPV has very rarely had the effect on babies whose mothers has HPV while they were giving birth. The chance is very small, but has been reported. If you have treatment questions about HPV treatments and conceiving, it is best to ask a doctor.

Myth #3: Everyone knows if they have HPV.

A report stated that approximately 50 percent of all people who have ever had sexual intercourse have had some form of HPV, whether they knew it or not. For some people they never knew and it went away. For others who have it more prevalently, it can go away within two years. Although it lasts longer in some than others, researchers are still trying to determine why.

Myth #4: You can only get HPV from having sexual intercourse.

Sexual intercourse is one of many ways that someone can get HPV. Other ways it can be developed is through oral sex, anal sex, using someone else's sexual toys, and the touching of genitals and the areas infected. (Skin to skin contact and fluids from the body are also ways to pass the infection on). Warts can be developed on the mouth, throat, anus and outer genital regions because of this.

Myth #5: Using condoms always protects you and your partner from HPV.

If you or your partner have HPV, condoms do not eliminate the risk of spreading HPV. A condom is one way to lower the risk. Since a condom cannot cover the entire area that may be infected, the risk is still likely. It is always a good idea to use a condom to prevent infections and diseases.

Myth #6: Only people with multiple partners should worry about getting HPV.

There is still a risk for anyone who has ever had sex at least one time to get HPV. It is not just limited to people who have had many partners or if their partner(s) have had many partners. The only difference is that those who have had more partners have an increased risk. HPV is a very serious sexually transmitted infection and disease and it is good to know all the facts. It is important for everyone whether they have it or not, one statistic states that about eight out of every ten women will contract HPV at least once by the age of 50.

Sources:

http://www.ashastd.org/hpv/hpv_learn_myths.cfm

http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/common-questions.htm

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