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The Link Between HPV and Genital Warts

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The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a collection of more than 100 viruses, with some having the potential to lead to cancer or the development of Genital Warts. Genital Warts are characterized by small, flat or raised bumps found on or near the genitals, including the penis, scrotum, vagina, or anus. They may bear resemblance to raspberries or cauliflowers. These HPV viruses are commonly categorized as either low or high risk in terms of their cancer-causing capabilities.

Understanding HPV and Genital Warts

A total of 14 types of HPV have been identified as high-risk, with the potential to increase the likelihood of developing cancer. This virus is a significant contributor to cancers of the anus, throat, and esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach) in both males and females, as well as cervical (lower uterine) cancer in females. The majority of HPV-related cancers are caused by types 16 and 18 of the virus.

The primary source of genital or anal warts is attributed to low-risk HPV types, which do not have the potential to cause cancer. Specifically, HPV types 6 and 11 are accountable for approximately 90% of Genital Warts.

What is the prevalence of HPV and Genital Warts?

According to statistics, HPV is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI), affecting approximately 40% of individuals who are sexually active. Cervical Cancer, which is ranked as the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, is primarily linked to HPV, accounting for approximately 95% of all cases.

What are the ways to acquire HPV and Genital Warts?

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can be easily transmitted through sexual activity with an infected individual, whether it is vaginal, anal, or oral. Sharing non-sterile sex toys can also result in contracting the virus. Even with safe sex practices, it is still possible to acquire the infection. Additionally, the virus can be spread without exhibiting any symptoms.

Is it possible to contract HPV and Genital Warts without engaging in sexual activity?

It is not possible to contract Genital Warts through actions such as kissing, using public restroom facilities, or sharing personal items like towels, utensils, or cups.

Cervical cancer often arises due to contracting an HPV infection through sexual contact. Nevertheless, women may still develop this type of cancer without any sexual history, although the chances are minimal.

What are the indications and indications of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Genital Warts in males?

The majority of individuals with HPV do not experience any noticeable symptoms, thus the only method of determining infection is through testing. Additionally, numerous HPV growths may not be easily visible. Symptoms of HPV in men may include:

Alterations in the skin, anus, mouth, or throat.

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections – Genital Warts
  • Tiny pink marks in the vicinity of the genitals or anus

What are the indications and manifestations of HPV and Genital Warts in females?

Many HPV growths can be unnoticeable or concealed, and the majority of individuals who have HPV will not experience any symptoms. Therefore, the only method to determine if one has HPV is by undergoing testing. For women, symptoms of HPV may include:

  • Alterations in the cervical lining
  • Unusual proliferation of tissue
  • Warts located in the genital area.
  • Bleeding that occurs after sexual intercourse is not normal.
  • Discomfort experienced during sexual intercourse.
  • Foul-smelling discharge from the vagina
  • Presence of blood in your urine

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer may include:

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Modifications to your vaginal secretions
  • Discomfort experienced during sexual intercourse.
  • Discomfort in the lower part of your back, abdomen, or pelvic area.

At what point should I undergo testing for HPV and Genital Warts?

It is highly advised to undergo regular testing in order to avoid transmitting the virus to your partner(s). Both men and women should regularly get tested to protect their sexual well-being and prevent the inadvertent transmission of any infections to their sexual partners.

Regular cervical and HPV testing should be conducted by women, unless their physician advises otherwise, every 3-5 years. If necessary, some women may need to undergo these tests more frequently, as determined by their doctor. Women who experience symptoms of Cervical Cancer may also consider taking these tests. Additionally, those who have engaged in unprotected sexual activity, particularly with multiple partners, may want to get tested. For women who are HIV positive, the risk of contracting HPV is higher and they may choose to undergo testing for their own well-being.

What is the process for testing for HPV and Genital Warts?

With Test4STI, you have the freedom to select your desired test. Our team of Sexual Health Advisors can assist you in choosing the most suitable test(s) for your needs.

In case you have concerns about a specific lump or blemish, it is possible to obtain a sample of it. Our Blemish Screen is highly recommended if you are uncertain about which test to choose, as it also checks for other STIs that can cause external blemishes, such as Syphilis and Herpes.

For women who are concerned about their cervical health, we recommend scheduling an HPV and Papanicolaou (PAP) smear test. This test involves taking a sample from the cervix (lower uterus) using a swab. Our test specifically checks for any abnormal cell changes in the cervix and any strains of HPV that may pose a current or future risk. It is suitable for women who are 21 years or older and have concerns about Cervical Cancer. If you have any worries about Cervical Cancer, please reach out to our Sexual Health Advisory Team for guidance.

Once your sample arrives at our laboratory, you can anticipate receiving your test results within a few days.

Assume ownership of your sexual well-being with Test4STI. Getting tested with Test4STI is a simple, speedy, and comfortable process. You can schedule a test now through Test4STI by contacting our Sexual Health Advisory team at the provided number or via our online platform by selecting the Get Started option.

What are the potential consequences of not treating HPV and Genital Warts?

Not treating an HPV infection can lead to various forms of cancer, including cervical, penile, and anal. Additionally, having HPV can also raise the risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections, like HIV.

It is possible for untreated men to transmit the virus to their sexual partner(s), while untreated HPV in women can lead to Cervical Cancer or premature menopause. Failure to treat Cervical Cancer can result in a gradual spread to the vagina and the muscles supporting the pelvic bones. Furthermore, individuals may experience lymphoedema, kidney failure, or blood clots due to a buildup of fluid in the tissue.

What are the potential effects of HPV and Genital Warts on a pregnant individual and their infant?

It is possible for Genital Warts to be transmitted to your newborn during delivery. In certain cases, the infant may develop warts in their throat, which can pose a serious health risk. As a result, it is crucial to undergo regular testing and seek treatment for the infection if necessary.

During pregnancy, the hormones can cause an increase in the size of Genital Warts in women. In some instances, a physician may recommend a caesarean section (c-section) if the Genital Warts are exceptionally large.

The majority of pregnant women who are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer have an early-stage form of the disease. The growth and spread of cancer are not impacted by pregnancy.

If I receive a positive result for both HPV and Genital Warts, what should I do?

While there is currently no known cure for HPV, the symptoms can be managed. Typically, the immune system will eliminate the virus from the body within a couple of years.

It is important to refrain from engaging in unprotected sexual activity for a period of 6 months after completing treatment in order to reduce the risk of transmitting HPV to any sexual partner(s). Additionally, it is crucial to inform any sexual partner(s) about your positive test result so that they can also get tested and receive treatment if necessary.

Cervical Cancer is commonly linked to long-lasting HPV infections. Therefore, in the case of a positive high-risk HPV result and/or an abnormal smear test, a specialist may be consulted for a colposcopy to examine the cervix more closely.

Test4STI offers the option to schedule a confidential appointment with a physician. Alternatively, you have the choice to seek guidance from a doctor of your preference regarding any necessary further actions.

What is the treatment for HPV and Genital Warts?

When a positive result is received, a specialist will be recommended to determine the necessary follow-up tests and HPV treatment(s). While there is no cure for the virus, treatment can eliminate visible symptoms such as Genital Warts. These warts can be treated through methods such as cryotherapy (freezing off infected cells), laser treatment, or surgery. In some cases, multiple treatments may be necessary for complete removal, especially for larger warts. Additionally, there are creams available that a doctor may prescribe to remove warts, alleviate symptoms, and prevent recurrence. It is also possible for the body to naturally fight off the infection within a few years.

In case your smear test shows the presence of abnormal cells, you may receive more frequent PAP smears to keep track of these cells. The frequency of these smears will be determined by your doctor, usually once per year. Treatment for Cervical Cancer may involve radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and/or surgery, depending on the cancer’s stage.

Test4STI offers the option to schedule a personal appointment with a doctor. Alternatively, you have the choice to consult with a doctor of your preference, who can provide guidance on any necessary follow-up actions.

Is it possible for HPV and Genital Warts to return?

It is possible to contract HPV multiple times as there are various strains of the virus. Nevertheless, there are ways to lower the chances of acquiring HPV, such as:

  • Receiving the HPV vaccination
  • It is important to engage in safe sexual practices every time one engages in vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse.
  • Prioritizing the testing for STIs with any new sexual partners before engaging in sexual activity.

After undergoing treatment for HPV and Genital Warts, when is it safe for me to engage in sexual activity once more?

To reduce the risk of spreading HPV, it is recommended to refrain from engaging in unprotected sexual activity for an additional 6 months after receiving treatment for HPV or Genital Warts.

If desired, one can resume a regular sexual life within a couple of weeks after completing radiotherapy or undergoing surgery for Cervical Cancer.

What is the process for scheduling an HPV and Genital Warts test?

Test4STI is the global leader in offering confidential testing services for sexual health. Our efficient and precise testing ensures that you can have peace of mind.

To schedule a test with Test4STI, you may contact our Sexual Health Advisory team at the provided number. Our knowledgeable Patient Services staff will assist you in choosing the appropriate test and arranging any necessary follow-up appointments. If you would rather book your test online, you can click on the Get Started button above.

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Our patient care team is available 24/7 to provide you with exceptional support.

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