Advice about HPV

A viral infection (Human papillomavirus) – the therapy is for reducing the symptoms.

There are more than 70 different types of HPV, from which types 16, 18, 31, and 33 are proved to be the cause of pre-malignant and malignant changes in the uterus – which makes this disease potentially lethal to women. Malignant changes are classified with CIN 1,2 or 3 (stadiums of the changes).

These types of viruses also cause condylomas – skin, a fleshy, pain-free, and soft excrescence of different shapes with rough surfaces. Condyloma is also caused by some other types of HPV, but they aren’t always linked with malignant changes. Men more often report this state than women do, probably because condylomas are visible on the penis. However, the infected person could transmit the virus to his sexual partner even if he doesn’t have visible symptoms.

Condyloma occurs after a few weeks, or it could occur 20 months after the moment of infection. Condyloma can grow, and in some cases, these humps can occur in a grape-like shape (bursting of condylomas causes the virus to spread on the surrounding area)!

Women – HPV is confirmed to be the cause of malignant changes that could lead to uterus cancer. Condyloma occurs on the vulva, inside the vagina, cervix, or around the anus.

Men – condylomas occur on the penis’s body, around the genitals, cervix, and anus.

Condyloma can also occur in the rectum, as a consequence of infection during anal sexual intercourse, or in the mouth, during oral sex.

If a pregnant woman has condylomas, there is a risk that the infection could spread to her newborn infant during labor. Condyloma can be treated in different ways, usually by regulated liquid chemicals imiquimod, profiling, or Condylox, which are used on the outer genital areas by direct application.

The therapy is repeated until the condylomas have disappeared. Cryo-therapy could also be applied, by which condylomas are eliminated by freezing, or by electrocoagulation, by which they are burned. There is also laser treatment, surgical removal, or injection of interferon in every condyloma (a protein that stimulates the body’s immunity to the virus). In spite of the therapy, HPV infection cannot be completely cured and condylomas often occur again.

If a woman has condylomas, or if her partner has them, should take the PAPA test at least once a year for controlling the cervical unit. People are usually warned to avoid sexual contact if the condylomas are visible.

Although the infection may be spread even if the person doesn’t have condylomas, there is a risk of infecting the sexual partner. For short-term prevention of a repeated condyloma occurrence, condoms or femidoms should be used 12 weeks after the therapy is concluded. However, this isn’t complete prevention because it doesn’t always cover the entire infected area. Treatment lasts for a long time, it is psychophysically difficult and expensive, and a complete recovery isn’t yet possible. If the malignant changes are confirmed by the PAPA-test at their early phase – the therapy would be less painful and the chance of suffering from uterus cancer, which could metastasize and cause death, would be reduced. It is recommendable that every woman takes the PAPA test at least once a year.

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