Preventing HPV

Written by: Dr. Jordi Antoni Vives
Edited by: Top Doctors®

The human papilloma is a virus of which there are around 100 known types. Of all, about 40 affect the genital and anal epithelium, and of these about 15 are considered high risk. It is an easy sexually transmitted virus , even in skin-to-skin contact. Penetration is not essential for infection and, therefore, the condom does not completely protect the sexual partner.

There are several factors that contribute to persistent infection: smoking, immune system disorders, high number of pregnancies or prolonged oral contraceptive use. In addition, infection with one or more oncogenic types of HPV has been shown to be the necessary cause for the development of a cancer of the uterine cervix. The population most prone to suffer from this pathology is the adolescent or those people who have had multiple sexual partners. Up to 75% of women have been in contact with the virus at some point in their lives, but the majority of the population manages to eliminate the infection asymptomatically or subclinically.

The human papillomavirus does not usually present any symptoms, but warts can sometimes appear in the genital or perianal area . If the exeresis of a wart was performed, it would be convenient to proceed with its biopsy analysis to rule it out. This makes periodic gynecological examination and the practice of a cervicovaginal cytology and, in case of doubt, the determination of the virus in the vagina by PCR techniques simply by collecting a vaginal discharge sample very simple and painless.. Its detection allows establishing a follow-up plan by means of periodic cytologies and, where appropriate, biopsies, colposcopy and other diagnostic techniques.

The most advisable thing to avoid the appearance of this virus is to participate in the population program of vaccination that all the autonomous communities have available to the population of school age, although recent research shows that there is no age limit to proceed to administer the vaccination, being able to benefit even population of patients infected or who are in an initial level of precancerous lesion.

Skin, vaginal or superficial lesions can be treated with specific ointments or creams, some based on podophyllum or extracts of the green tea tree or other pharmacological preparations. If these fail you can proceed to their destruction but it would be better to perform an exeresis and its analysis by biopsy. In those cases in which the infection persists and becomes an intracellular process, it is advisable to consult with the gynecologist, urologist or dermatologist to proceed with its follow-up and possible surgical treatment to prevent the development of a cancerous disease.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Jordi Antoni Vives
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Expert in gynecological surgery, with training at the prestigious Mayo Clinic Scottsdale in Arizona ( USA ), this doctor is one of the best specialists in surgery for endometriosis, breast cancer, gynecological cancer surgery, robotic surgery in gynecology and surgical laparoscopy.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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