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Papilloma Virus (HPV): Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Human Papilloma virus

Papilloma virus (HPV): symptoms, diagnosis and treatment In a country where millions of men and women are detected with HPV every year, it is foolish to ask this question. History of HPV tells us that Human Papillomavirus or HPV as it is commonly known as, is the most common virus affecting men and women, and among 30 of the 100 types of HPV get transmitted sexually. HPV is thus one of the many sexually transmitted diseases that can cause genital warts. Most types of HPV are considered harmless, but about 30 of them have the ability to cause cancers of cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus, in women. Classified as low risk and high risk, high risk types of HPV can cause cancers. HPV in women is such a common infection that nearly 80% of women have suffered from it at some point in their lives. Though in most cases, HPV goes away on its own, the detection of the virus in women is of concern and certainly complicates the issue if the woman is pregnant or preparing for pregnancy. How do you get HPV is what many wonder. Most often, HPV is passed from one person to another through sexual contact. More than 50% of the sexually active men and women get HPV at least once in their lives. It is not only through sexual intercourse that women catch HPV and oral sex can also lead to this viral infection.

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HPV and pregnancy occurring together may be problematical

Women contacting HPV from their male partner during pregnancy may be worried about the safety of their unborn baby because of this virus. However, in most cases, this virus has been known to not affect the baby. HPV does not require any changes in the way a woman is cared for during her pregnancy. However, it is important to inform your gynecologist if you have this infection. HPV and pregnancy can go together though there are chances of complications. There being more than 100 strains of HPV, symptoms of HPV are varied as well. Many cause genital warts (around vagina and cervix). These warts are harmless and generally go on their own but some strains of HPV can lead to cancers in women.

Let your doctor know about your HPV history

If a woman has a history of HPV virus, it is important for her to communicate the fact with her doctor, especially if she is trying to get pregnant. This naturally alerts the doctor who would obviously like to monitor her closely as cell changes can occur at a fast rate during pregnancy. There has been nothing to suggest that HPV is linked with miscarriage, premature birth, or any other complication during pregnancy. The chance of transmitting the virus to the baby is also very low. However, in some cases where HPV is of high risk type, doctors like to monitor cervix tissue changes more closely. These changes become more prominent during pregnancy.

Immunity of the body is lowered during pregnancy

It is a fact that during pregnancy, a woman’s body is susceptible to infections as her immunity is naturally lowered. When she cannot ward off infections, it becomes easy for her to catch HPV virus during pregnancy. Low immunity ensures that the genital warts caused by HPV during pregnancy are bigger and higher in number too.

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Human Papilloma virus symptoms

Human Papilloma Virus symptoms are varied as there are many strains of the virus. Most people are not even aware they are carrying HPV as there are no symptoms. Even if there are some warts in the genital areas, they are taken care of by the immune system of the body and go away after some time. In Some cases, there are cell changes in the body of the person and he or she may develop cancer of vulva, cervix, penis, rectum, anus, tongue, or throat. HPV strains that cause cancers are called high risk type while those that are limited to causing genital warts are called low risk type strains of HPV.

Human Papilloma virus treatment

Virus treatment is strongly dependent upon the presence of symptoms in the person. Severity of Human Papilloma Virus symptoms decides the course of treatment decided by the doctor. It is possible to remove genital warts through chemical treatment, surgically, or by using electric current. If the size of the warts is small, doctor usually waits till childbirth. But if the size of the warts is so big that they might obstruct childbirth, doctor decides to operate upon these warts before the start of labor pains.

Treatment of HPV has been known to affect pregnancy, and this is why doctors try to postpone Human Papilloma Virus treatment till childbirth. Good news is that body’s immune system removes symptoms of HPV in most cases and it is only a small percentage of cases where doctors have to resort to remove the symptoms surgically or chemically.

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Delores C. West is a compassionate healthcare professional with a focus on women's health and wellness. As a certified nurse-midwife, Delores is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to women throughout their reproductive journey. With a warm and nurturing approach, she empowers her patients to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Delores's expertise in women's health makes her a trusted resource for individuals seeking personalized and compassionate care. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more about her commitment to women's health and wellness.