, NJ (PressExposure) May 13, 2008 -- Currently there is no proven treatment for HPV (Human Papillomavirus). For majority of people who have HPV, the body's defenses are enough to clear the virus. It is possible ti treat some of the possible consequences of HPV infection, including abnormal cervical cells, cervical cancer and genital warts.
Genital warts are flesh colored growth that are most often caused by certain types of HPV. Genital warts often appear on the external genital or near the anus of females and males. Less commonly genital warts can on the cervix. It is estimated that approximately 10% of men and women will have genital warts in their lifetime.
Genital warts often do not cause symptoms. In some cases however, they may cause burning, itching or pain. A healthcare professional can usually recognize genital warts just by seeing them. Sometimes they are discovered in follow up visits after an abnormal Pap test.
Genital warts sometimes disappear on their own without treatment. However, there is no way to tell if they will disappear or grow larger. A healthcare professional may choose to apply a special cream or solution to the warts. Alternatively, some genital warts can be removed by freezing, burning, or using a laser treatment. If these treatments don't work, they may be removed by surgery. There is a chance that genital warts can reappear after treatment since th HPV that caused them may still be present.
What are the options?
- Regular pap test.
- Abstinence from all sexual activity.
- Maintain monogamous relationship with someone who has had no other or few sex partners.
- Limit the number of partners you have and choose your partners carefully. The fewer partners your partner had, the less likely he or she is to have HPV.
- Condoms may help reduce but is not fully protective against infections.
- Vaccination with HPV vaccine.
The Pap test looks for cells changes caused by genital HPV. It finds cell changes early, so the cells can be treated before they turn into cancer. This test can also find cancer in its early stages so it can be treated before it becomes life threatening.
Currently vaccination is available to prevent HPV infection and may reduce the risk of cervical cancer and HPV related diseases caused by certain types of HPV. Ideally females should get the vaccine before they are sexually active. This is because the vaccine is most effective in women/girls who have not yet acquired any of the HPV types covered by the vaccine.