HPV Virus and What Can be Done About It

>> Friday, November 6, 2015

Bookmark and Share
Many of you have questions about the HPV virus and what can be done if you have a pap smear with a positive result.  HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) are little organisms that can infect the skin and the lining of some of the body's passageways and internal organs.  There have been more than 100 types of HPV identified.  Some types of HPV cause no known health problems.  Others can cause warts to grow on the infected areas (skin, perineum, vocal cords and in the vagina), and a few types can cause cancer.  It is because of this that we want you to have pap smears every year, as they screen for cervical cancer and HPV virus.

HPV is very common, and it is estimated that greater than 75% of people worldwide are infected.  In fact, HPV is the most common STD in the U.S., especially among young people.  That means that if you are sexually active, you have a very high chance of contracting it.  One partner could be a virgin at the onset of the relationship, and if their partner has been with even one other person and got the virus from that person, he/she can pass it to the other.  Only if both partners are virgins and truly have never been with another person sexually (in any way - anally, orally, etc.) will they remain free of the HPV.

That is why if your current partner is your first partner, but you are not his, and you suddenly have an abnormal pap smear that is positive for HPV, it does not mean he has been unfaithful.  The HPV virus can lay dormant, hiding in your cervical cells for many years, never showing any symptoms, and suddenly begin to replicate and become active again.

Women who get yearly pap smears are more likely to have the virus detected and prevent any serious consequences like cancer.  HPV has high and low risk types.  It is the high risk types that are covered in the HPV (gardasil) vaccination which is now available for boys and girls.  

We know that, with early detection, any signs of progression to cancer can be caught early and treated.  HPV can affect the oral mucosa - causing mouth and throat cancer, and the anus - causing anal cancer.  With a healthy immune system, most people who contract HPV when they are young will eventually destroy the virus on their own with no lasting health problems. Risk factors that can interfere with your body's ability to do this and which put a person at risk for cancer are: cigarette smoking, being infected with another STD at the same time, and a weakened immune system from having another medical illness like diabetes, HIV, or autoimmune illnesses.

Once again, safe sexual practices and using condoms seems to be very important, as well as not having multiple sexual partners at the same time.  These are ways to help yourself.  

I know I discussed this before, but many of my patients love the WaterWorks device for this reason.  Immediately after sex, you can get up and use it to rinse out the semen.  The longer the semen stays inside of you, the more likely you are to get HPV and other STDs.  The guys always jump up and rinse off and pee, right?  So this is a woman's way of doing the same.  Get the semen out, and let WaterWorks gently cleanse your vagina.  You will feel cleaner and have peace of mind.  It uses only warm, clean water and no chemicals, so what could be better?

Hope you stay cool and your summer is fabulous.  It is almost over, so if you haven't done something fun for yourself, it doesn't have to be expensive, but do it this week.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP