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HPV Virus in Women

HPV Virus in Women
The genital infection of HPV virus in women is one of the common sexually transmitted infections. Many people might carry this virus, without having any knowledge of it. This article will give you an insight into the causes, symptoms, disorders, tests and vaccination related to the HPV virus.HPV stands for human papillomavirus, and almost everybody gets HPV at some time during their life. HPV is not a big health issue, but early detection of HPV virus in women and treatment is a must. Serious issues related to HPV virus like cervical or other cancer have very less probability. But, one should not ignore the possibility, and should go through regular testing for the detection of this virus infection.

How do Women Get HPV Virus?

The main reason for women getting human papillomavirus or HPV, is skin-to-skin contact. This virus can enter the body through a cut or an abrasion. One gets HPV infection, like genital warts, due to skin-to-skin contact during a sexual intercourse, which can be vaginal, anal or oral sex. These warts, can appear within weeks or months after sexual contact from an infected person. The possibility of genital warts increases by having many sexual partners and unprotected sex.

In very rare cases, a pregnant women might pass HPV virus to the baby during vaginal delivery, and the baby may develop warts inside the throat or in the voice box. This condition in the baby is called RRP (recurrent respiratory papillomatosis) .

HPV Virus Infections and Disorders in Women

Listed below are some of the most common HPV virus infections and disorders which affect women.

Genital Warts: Genital warts are a common STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). Symptoms of genital warts (HPV) in women look like small bumps or group of bumps, which are usually observed around the genital area. They can look flat or raised, small or large in size, and sometimes they look cauliflower shaped. They are observed around the vagina, on the cervix, or thighs.

Cervical Cancer: There are no visible symptoms of cervical cancer in the early stage. So, it is important for women to get a HPV test regularly to check for cervical cancer. Sample of cells from the cervix of a woman are collected to perform this test. This test helps to detect if a woman has high-risk types of human papillomavirus.

Other Disorders: There is vaginal and vulvar cancer which is associated with HPV infection. HPV virus in women doesn't affect the ability of women to get pregnant. But, pregnant women having genital warts might have more outbreaks of genital warts than normal infected women. Sometimes, this can lead to blocking of birth canal, which might make the delivery difficult.

HPV Virus in Women - Treatment

Home remedies for this virus infection are not recommended. If you observe any symptom of HPV virus infection, you should immediately contact a skin specialist.

Vaccination: A vaccine called Gardasil is now available, which protects women against 4 types of HPV. This vaccine is recommended for girls of age 11 to women of age 26. However, the vaccine has to be taken before one gets infected by HPV.

Treatment: The treatment for HPV virus infections in women differs according to the cause. For genital warts, there are many treatments, like using liquid nitrogen, podophyllin or surgical excision. Cervical cancer can be treated, when it is detected in its early stage. Treatments like surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy are used for cervical cancer. Similar treatments are used for other HPV infection related cancers.

Prevention is better than cure. So, it is important that women go for a HPV test regularly for the detection of HPV virus in women. Importantly, seek medical help if you observe any symptoms of HPV infection.