Definition of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, encompasses a group of over 150 virus types. Many HPV strains are symptomless, while some strains cause genital warts, and a few can lead to cervical cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted diseases; there are over 3 million cases in the United States each year. Furthermore, nearly half of all sexually active men and woman contract HPV sometime in their lives. HPV is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact, and it can be passed on even when an HPV carrier does not exhibit any symptoms. Find out more about other sexually transmitted diseases.
Symptoms of HPV
Most people who have HPV do not exhibit any symptoms and the virus clears up on its own. However, in some cases, certain strains of HPV do cause physical symptoms.
Some HPV strains can cause genital warts. If you exhibit the following symptoms, contact a doctor who can identify genital warts on sight:
- Single warts or clusters of warts
- A group of warts that are cauliflower-like in shape
- Itching, burning, discomfort, and/or bleeding in the genital area
Though a few HPV strains can lead to cervical cancer, cervical cancer typically does not exhibit symptoms until the cancer has progressed. It’s incredibly important for women to go to doctors regularly and get screening tests to catch early signs of cervical cancer.
While there is no one treatment for HPV, that doesn’t meant there is nothing you can do about your symptoms. If you have genital warts, there are several courses of action you can take. However, it is important to keep in mind that even if treatment clears up genital warts, warts can return and you can still infect others with the virus even without any warts.
Some common treatments for genital warts include:
- Prescription topical creams
- Cryotherapy (freezing the warts with liquid hydrogen)
- Electrocautery (using an electrical current to burn off warts)
- Surgical excision
- Laser treatments
As for cervical cancer, prevention is the best treatment. Women who receive regular cervical cancer screening can discover abnormalities early and take action quickly.
Schedule an appointment with Advanced Urology in the Chicago area
If you worry that you’ve been exposed to HPV or any other sexually transmitted disease, the Advanced Urology Associates can help. Advuro specializes in treatment for sexually transmitted diseases for both men and women. For more information, please give our adult urology experts at Advanced Urology Associates a call at 815.409.4930. There are services near Chicago, Joliet, Frankfort, New Lenox, Morris, and Naperville, Illinois.
Please visit any of our locations in the Chicagoland area:
Advanced Urology Morris
1401 Lakewood Dr. Unit 3
Morris, IL 60450
Advanced Urology Silver Cross Location
1890 Silver Cross Blvd.
Pavilion A, Ste. 430
New Lenox, IL 60451
Advanced Urology AUA Prostate Cancer Center
1541 Riverboat Center Drive
Joliet, IL 60431