Human Papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV, is a sexually transmitted viral infection that causes skin growth. HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. Knowing how to prevent HPV contraction is essential, and spotting warning signs of potential infection is essential.
HPV can affect both men and women, but it significantly impacts women and their health. If you’ve potentially been exposed to HPV, you should know what to look out for. A human papillomavirus infection may appear minor, but it should be treated immediately.
HPV Infection: How Is it Transmitted?
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease primarily spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. In some cases, skin-to-skin contact can even spread it. A person with HPV can pass the infection even without active symptoms.
Although this may sound alarming, frightening, or worrisome, preventive measures exist to avoid an HPV contraction. Additionally, HPV may not be life-threatening or overtly harmful, and symptoms usually resolve within two years. Regardless, if you are sexually active, you must get tested regularly and talk openly with your partners.
Human Papillomavirus Infections Symptoms
In many cases, people report showing no symptoms, even with the infection. This is where STD testing is critical. No matter how many partners you have, or if you have only had sex once, choose to get tested. This way, your doctor can direct you toward viable treatment options. Getting tested also lessens the likelihood of you spreading the virus to someone else.
If you are showing symptoms associated with HPV, you may experience any of the following:
These appear as flat lesions or bumps on your genitals. For males, they will appear on the shaft of the penis or sometimes around the anus. For females, warts most commonly appear on the vulva. Sometimes, warts may also appear in the vagina or near the cervix. These lesions may usually come with low-grade discomfort.
In most cases, those with symptomatic HPV can receive treatment. HPV will diminish over time when treated correctly.
If there are no symptoms, or symptoms appear months to years after contact, this can indicate a more high-risk infection. HPV can lead to more severe illnesses in women, like cervical cancer.
The good news is that most HPV infections go away with time and proper treatment. Some may come in contact with the infection and never contract it, and it’s hard to say why some develop into more severe illnesses while others don’t. Luckily, you can take precautions against HPV.
How to Prevent Any HPV Infections
Most of us will likely come into contact with HPV at least once. Even so, you can protect yourself against contraction. Here are some preventive measures you can take if you are sexually active:
Get the HPV Vaccine
The HPV Vaccine is the number one way to protect yourself from developing harmful strains of HPV. You can get it as young as 11 and up until you are 45. Talk to your doctor about the HPV Vaccine.
Practice Safe Sex
To protect you and your partner, incorporate safe sex practices like wearing condoms.
Talk Openly About Your Status
If you know that you’re a carrier, communicate with your partner.
Get Tested for HPV
If you think you’ve been exposed to HPV or want to know your status, get tested for HPV. Talk to your doctor to discuss the next steps.
BASS Medical is Here to Help
Here at BASS Medical, we care deeply about the people we serve, their health, and their well-being. If you’re ready to get tested for HPV or are interested in the HPV Vaccine, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or schedule an appointment with a BASS professional today.