HPV (Human Papillomavirus) - Causes, Symptoms and TreatmentThe human papillomavirus (HPV) is a commonly transmitted infection which affects the mucous membrane and skin. The virus has over 100 strains. Most of these strains are not harmful to the body and clear off on their own after a while. Most persons contract HPV at some point in their lives, but the virus clears off on its own. Some of these HPV strains may only lead to cervical cell changes in women that gets resolved after some time. You should undergo HPV test Londonto check for abnormalities or presence of cancer.
Certain strains of HPV can develop to cause cancer. They include HPV strain 68, 66, 59, 58, 56, 52, 51, 45, 39, 35, 33, 31, 18, and 16. An HPV infection can either be a low or high risk one. The high-risk HPV may lead to anal, cervical and vulvae cancer in women while men may develop anal and penile cancer.
Causes of HPV
Some known causes of HPV include the following:
- Transmission of HPV from an infected person during anal, vaginal, or oral sexual intercourse. Most times, the infection may be dormant in an infected person, making the person unaware of the infection
- Transmission of the HPV from an infected mother to her child during childbirth. This often leads to respiratory or genital infection
Some common symptoms of HPV Include the following:
- Plantar warts on the feet which may be grainy and rigid
- Common warts found around the fingers, elbows, and hands. Warts usually look like prickly raised bumps
- Flat-topped warts in adults and children that look like raised lesions with dark colours on the neck, face, and scratched areas
HPV high-risk factors
Having skin-to-skin sexual contact predisposes you to contract HPV and other sexually transmitted infections. Other risk factors for HPV include the following:
- Having more than one sexual partner
- Having oral, anal, or vaginal sex without protection
- Having a sexual partner who has HPV
The following factors increase the chances of an HPV infection developing into cancer
- Chronic inflammation
- Having a weak immune system
- Taking tobacco product for throat and mouth cancer
- Having anal sex for anal cancer
- Using oral contraceptive for a long time for cervical cancer
- Being infected with other STI like herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea
HPV and pregnancy
Contracting HPV does not reduce your chances of getting pregnant, and if you are pregnant and have HPV, you may need to take treatments after you give birth.
Some HPV infections may cause complications during pregnancy. The hormonal changes accompanying pregnancy may cause the growth of genital warts, and sometimes,genital warts may begin to bleed. If genital warts spread, it makes delivery through the vagina difficult, and the only delivery option is a C-section.
The infected mother may transmit the virus to the baby during delivery, but this rarely happens. In cases where it does, the child may develop recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.
Prevention of HPV
The common method of preventing HPV is having protected sexual intercourse and engaging in safe sex practices.
You can also get the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine. The vaccine protects against nine HPV strains that cause cancer and genital warts.
Currently, HPV has no cure, but you can treat cervical changes caused by HPV that may lead to cervical cancer by surgically removing the cells. If you have genital warts caused by HPV, you can treat warts by using creams, cryotherapy and surgery.
For your HPV test, contact here and book an appointment with gynaecologist.