HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. It’s so common that the majority of sexually active men and women (roughly 80%, according to statistics) will contract HPV at some point in their lives.
There are many different strains of HPV, and it can be contracted through all forms of sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many cases of HPV clear up on their own and don’t cause lasting health problems. However, some strains of HPV can cause genital warts and increase the risk of cervical cancer if left untreated.
At Eve Medical of Miami, our team offers attentive and compassionate care, including STD testing and treatment.
What you need to know about HPV
Practicing safe sex and using protection every time is the best defense against STDs. If you’ve had unprotected sex or suspect that you may have been exposed to HPV or other infections, we offer convenient and confidential STD screenings at Eve Medical of Miami. Your well-woman exam includes a pelvic exam and pap test to check for abnormal cells or changes to your cervix. Pap tests also detect HPV. If a routine pap test is abnormal, we’ll typically recommend further testing.
Here are some important facts about HPV:
There are usually no symptoms
Other than genital warts, most strains of HPV are asymptomatic, meaning you won’t know you have it until you get tested.
HPV and cancer
Most strains of HPV clear up on their own, but high-risk strains can lead to several forms of cancer, including:
- Oropharyngeal (mouth and throat)
The HPV vaccine helps to protect from several strains associated with the highest rates of cervical cancer and genital warts.
HPV and fertility
Unlike other STDs, HPV will not affect your fertility. However, removing cells from your cervix for testing or treating pre-cancerous lesions may affect your fertility by causing changes to the mucus production, or by making it more difficult for sperm to travel.
In addition to genital warts, HPV infection can cause warts to develop on other parts of the body like the feet and hands. In rare cases, some people develop lesions in the respiratory tract.
In most cases, healthy individuals will naturally develop antibodies to fight off the virus. If you develop warts or pre-cancerous cells, they can be removed through cryotherapy or surgery, depending on your situation.
For more information about your prevention and treatment options for HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases and infections, contact Eve Medical of Miami by calling us directly to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online.