HPV (Human Papillomavirus) consists of over 150 related viruses. Each type of HPV virus is associated with a number or its HPV type. HPV can cause warts (papillomas), often genital warts, while some other types of HPV viruses can lead to cancer, including cancer of the mouth, throat or rectum. Men sometimes get penile HPV cancer and women can get cervical, vaginal, or vulvar HPV cancers.
HPV is normally transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact, which often means having anal, oral, or vaginal sex with someone who already has a type of HPV virus. It’s also common that most men and women will contract a type of HPV virus at some point in their lives.
Often, people who have the virus have no signs or symptoms, and they easily pass it to their partners.
Symptoms from HPV can develop years after getting infected, which can make it hard to know when you first got infected.
In many cases, HPV subsides on its own and does not pose any serious health risks. But if HPV doesn’t go away, it’s important for you to see a medical professional.
Dr. Lipton offers specific genetic testing to evaluate the malignancy potential for women who have the HPV virus. He also recommends monitoring your HPV every six months with in-office visits to make sure the disease doesn’t progress.
If you are sexually active, it is imperative that you practice safe sex.
Use condoms when engaging in sexual activity. Even though HPV can be passed via a latex condom, using a condom can still help.
Today there’s a highly-effective vaccine that can prevent most types of HPV that can cause cancer. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 12 years get -two shots of HPV vaccine 6-12 months apart.
Though the HPV vaccine is most effective when administered during youth, before you start having sex, in some cases, it can still help later in life.
Kyle Lipton, MD, FACOG, FACS accepts most major insurance plans. Please contact our office directly with any questions.
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