HPV Symptoms

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The genital HPV infection can be shared among sexual partners through any kind of genital to genital or genital to mouth contact from person to person through any sort of genital contact if one of the partners is infected with HPV. Sexually active teensshould keep in mind that direct sexual intercourse is not necessary to spread HPV. There are more than 40 types of HPV that both men and women can contract through unprotected sexual contact. These various types are also found to infect the throat and mouth in addition to the genitals, which is part of the reason it is the most easily transferred STI among teens.

What is caused by HPV?
  • HPV in women can cause pre-cancers and cancers (cervical, vaginal and vulvar).
  • Many types of HPV cause genital warts and can be spread through sexual contact with genital to genital or genital to mouth touching.
  • Genital warts may appear like small, flesh-colored or gray bumps. They might clump together or may have a cauliflower-like appearance. Sometimes they appear flat against the skin.
  • These warts are mostly found around the vagina, penis, vulva, urethra, cervix, larynx and anus.
  • While it is more rare for men than women to show any visible signs of being infected with HPV, they can also contract genital warts after contracting the disease.
  • Statistics show that about 800 men are found each year wiith HPV related penile cancer.
  • 1100 men contract HPV related anal cancer each year.

Other HPV Symptoms:

  • HPV infections resulting in genital warts may also include itching or discomfort in, on or around the genital region
  • Bleeding during intercourse is also a common symptom of genital warts as a result of contracting HPV.
  • In many cases, the person infected with HPV never shows any symptoms. However it is still important to get screened and treated for HPV to avoid the risk of passing it to other sexual partners who may develop symptoms if contracted.
  • In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system actually can clear HPV naturally within two years.
HPV Treatment:
  • Genital warts must be treated with a doctors care. Do not attempt to use at-home kits.
  • A skin treatment is typically prescribed by your doctor or health care provider to use a few times at home until the warts or other symptoms go away. Routine check ups are typically required to make sure the infection is completely gone.
  • For more serious cases, surgical treatments may be necessary to freeze or burn off the warts.
  • Even if you never show symptoms of genital warts, but you find through STD screening that you are infected, it is important that you still get treated to avoid spreading it to other sexual partners who may experience symptoms if contracted.
  • It is important for sexually active teens to remember that if you do have genital warts, all of your sexual partners must also be tested and treated for genital warts or you risk contracting the infection again or they could possibly spread it to others.
HPV Prevention:
  • Abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way you can avoid any risk of contracting HPV, genital warts or cancers. Abstaining from other sexual acts aside from intercourse is also a requirement to certainly prevent contracting HPV because the infection can be spread through any kind of genital to genital or genital to mouth contact.
  • Always having protected sex with the use of condoms or other spermicides is the next best way to make sure you do not contract an STI or genital warts. However condoms are not 100 percent effective.
  • Frequent STD testing is a good idea to help make sure you have not contracted genital warts or other STIs. This can also help prevent the infection from spreading to other sexual partners.
  • Gardisil is the the HPV vaccine, and is the only prevention vaccine that is used to help stop the 4 types of HPV that cause genital warts as well as precancerous and cancerous cells. The vaccine is recommended for girls and women ages 9 to 26.
Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov, http://www.gardasil.com/, http://www.youngwomenshealth.org