Human Papillomavirus Infection: Prevention Measures Every Woman Must Know

4 min read
Human Papillomavirus Infection: Prevention Measures Every Woman Must Know

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common types of sexually transmitted infections. You may have the infection without showing any symptoms or you may have warts on various parts of your body because of it. In either case, you’ll want to know how to protect yourself.

What are some preventative measures for HPV? 

While this infection is generally harmless and may even go away on its own, you’ll still want to know how to prevent yourself from contracting itin the first place. 

Get the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

This vaccine will not only protect you against developing genital warts. It will also protect you from the types of Human Papillomavirus infection that cause most cervical, anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is a vaccine you should get when you’re around the age of 11,but you can get it up until the age of 45.

Practice Abstinence

The only 100% effective way to prevent this infection is to practice abstinence from all oral, anal, and vaginal sexual encounters.

Limit Your Number of Sexual Partners

The more sexual partners you have, the more likely you’ll be exposed to the Human Papillomavirus infection. However, you should still know that even if you only have one sexual partner, if they already have this infection, then they may infect you. The likelihood that your partner will have this infection grows depending on the number of partners they’ve had.

Use Condoms for Every Sexual Encounter You Have

If you’re using condoms, it’s important to use them from the start to the finish of every sexual act, including oral and anal sexual encounters, because the infection is spread by skin-to-skin contact. With this in mind, you should know that a condom won’t fully protect you because not every area will be covered by the condom.

Consider Circumcision

Studies show that circumcised men are at a much lower risk of developing this infection than uncircumcised men. For women, this means that the likelihood of being infected by a circumcised male decreases. However, this isn’t all good news because circumcised men are twice as likely to develop the Human Papillomavirus infection that causes cancer.

With this information, it’s important to realize that circumcision alone isn’t enough to protect you. It’s important for you to still get the vaccination. If you’re sexually active, you should still take appropriate precautions such as using a condom.

Get an HPV Test

Screenings are important for women because the Human Papillomavirus infection can result in abnormal changes in your cervical cells. When this happens, you’re more likely to develop cervical cancer.

Two tests can be used to screen for this infection. The first is the Pap test, which is conducted by collecting cells from your cervix. A medical professional will examine them underneath a microscope to look for abnormalities. The second test also involves collecting cells looks for the actual virus instead of abnormal cells.

According to the American Cancer Society, women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get a Pap test every three years because this infection is so common among women in this age group. If you have an abnormal Pap result, you may want to get a test for Human Papillomavirus. Women between the ages of30 and 65 should get both tests every 5 years.

If you need the HPV test or you need to get the Human Papillomavirus vaccine, BASS Medical Group can help.  Their elite team is made up of doctors who are experts in their respective fields. BASS Medical has many convenient locations in the greater San Francisco area.  Call (925) 350-4044 to learn more or schedule an appointment.