Symptoms Of Human Papilloma Virus
Human Papilloma Virus is extremely common. Up to 90% of people will be infected with it at some point in their lives. Fortunately, in most cases HPV does not cause symptoms.
HPV Fast Facts
- Although up to 90% of people get HPV at some point, only 1-2% of people's infections result in genital warts.
- Even though most of the time HPV doesn't cause warts, it can still cause cervical cancer so women should get Pap smears regularly.
- Usually the immune system takes care of HPV naturally, but there are lots of treatment methods to deal with stubborn cases.
HPV can cause genital warts. Symptoms of genital warts to watch for include:
- Raised bumps, usually flesh-colored, but may be red, pink, or gray
- Tiny lumps that look like cauliflower
- Warts maybe so tiny you cannot see them, or may be large and form clusters
- Irritation, itching, or bleeding
- Bleeding after or during sex
- Irregular menstrual bleeding
- Lesions in the genital area. These may be white, red, gray, or brown
- Persistent, abnormal discharge from the vagina, not usually accompanied by burning or itching
Genital warts can be present in the following areas:
- Neck of uterus
- Leg, thigh, or groin area
- Tip of penis
- Shaft of penis
- Area between external genitals and anus (perineum)
- In rare cases, genital warts can be transferred to the mouth through oral sexual contact
HPV and Cervical Cancer
There are four strains of HPV that can cause cervical cancer. It is important for women to get regular pap smears because cervical cancer is not usually fatal if detected in its early stages. Gardasil is a new vaccine that can protect against these four types of HPV, but is only recommended for females between the ages of 9 and 26. It should be administered before sexual activity occurs to be most effective. It will not cure existing HPV infections and does not protect against any other sexually transmitted infections.
Treatments for HPV
There are no treatments for HPV. Usually the body's immune system will overcome the infection. Most people test negative for HPV 2 years after their initial infection. However, many people experience the unfortunate reality of recurring genital wart outbreaks. These can be painful and embarrassing so many sufferers seek out treatment options to rid themselves of these pesky warts.
Conventional treatment options for HPV
- Surgery. Warts are removed surgically. Local anesthetic is required. Side effects can include infection and other problems associated with surgery.
- Topical ointments. There are varying ointments that can be applied to the skin. Some of them are harsh and must be applied by a doctor. Most can cause discomfort and skin irritation.
- Freezing/burning off warts. Wart is cauterized or frozen off; this treatment is painful and does not prevent the warts from returning.
Natural treatment options for HPV
If none of the previous options sound right for you, there are many natural, safe ways to treat stubborn genital warts. There are many natural herbal oils that are effective at reducing warts and controlling breakouts.