The infection of HPV in women is one of the common sexually transmitted infections. Many people might carry this virus without having any knowledge of it. This article will give you information about the causes, symptoms, disorders, tests, and vaccination-related to the HPV virus.
HPV stands for human papillomavirus and almost everybody gets HPV at some time during their life. HPV is not a big health issue, but early detection of HPV in women and treatment is a must. Serious issues related to HPV virus like cervical or other cancer have very less probability. But, one should not ignore the possibility, and should go through regular testing for the detection of this virus infection.
How do Women Get HPV Virus?
The main reason for women getting human papillomavirus or HPV is skin-to-skin contact. This virus can enter the body through a cut or an abrasion. One gets HPV infection like genital warts due to skin-to-skin contact during a sexual intercourse, which can be vaginal, anal, or oral sex. These warts can appear within weeks or months after sexual contact from an infected person. The possibility of genital warts increases by having many sexual partners and unprotected sex.
In very rare cases a pregnant woman might pass HPV virus to the baby during vaginal delivery, and the baby may develop warts inside the throat or in the voice box. This condition in the baby is called RRP (recurrent respiratory papillomatosis).
HPV Virus Infections and Disorders in Women
Listed below are some of the most common HPV virus infections and disorders which affect women.
Genital warts are a common STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). Symptoms of genital warts (HPV) in women look like small bumps or group of bumps, which are usually observed around the genital area. They can look flat or raised, small or large in size, and sometimes they look cauliflower shaped. They are observed around the vagina, on the cervix, or thighs.
There are no visible symptoms of cervical cancer in the early stage. So, it is important for women to get a HPV test regularly to check for cervical cancer. Sample of cells from the cervix of a woman are collected to perform this test. This test helps to detect if a woman has high-risk of human papillomavirus.
There is vaginal and vulvar cancer which is associated with HPV infection. HPV doesn’t affect the ability of women to get pregnant. But, pregnant women having genital warts might have more outbreaks of genital warts than normal infected women. Sometimes, this can lead to blocking of birth canal, which might make the delivery difficult.
Home remedies for this virus infection are not recommended. If you observe any symptom of HPV virus infection, you should immediately contact a skin specialist.
A vaccine called Gardasil is now available, which protects women against 4 types of HPV. This vaccine is recommended for girls of age 11 to women of age 26. However, the vaccine has to be taken before one gets infected by HPV.
The treatment for HPV virus infection in women differs according to the cause. For genital warts, there are many treatments like using liquid nitrogen, podophyllin, or surgical excision. Cervical cancer can be treated, when it is detected in its early stage. Treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy are used for cervical cancer. Similar treatments are used for other HPV infection related cancers.
There are many home remedies for genital warts. A mix of tea tree oil diluted with olive oil is considered to be very effective for treating these warts.
Prevention is better than cure. So, it is important that women go for a HPV test regularly for the detection of HPV infection. Importantly, seek medical help if you observe any symptoms of HPV infection.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.