HPV Treatment Questions and Answers

Are you looking for HPV Treatment near you in Illinois? Come to Women’s Healthcare of Illinois. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, so visit us today and get treated. Contact Women’s Healthcare of Illinois.

HPV Treatment Near Me in Evergreen Park, IL and Mokena, IL
HPV Treatment Near Me in Evergreen Park, IL and Mokena, IL

If you are sexually active and have noticed some lesions, bumps, or warts appearing in the genital area, it is highly recommended that you get tested for the human papillomavirus (HPV). At Women’s Healthcare of Illinois, our board-certified obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYN) would be pleased to evaluate your symptoms, provide you with HPV testing, and administer any necessary treatment.

What is HPV?

HPV, which stands for human papillomavirus, is a viral infection and sexually transmitted disease (STD) that occurs when the virus enters your body through a cut, abrasion, or small tear in your skin or during sexual intercourse. While HPV is most commonly associated with genital warts, it can also occur on the hands, fingers, face, legs, or feet.

HPV is a sexual transmitted virus that causes both genital warts and cervical cancer. There are over 150 strains of the HPV virus so reinfection can happen over lifetime.

How common is HPV?

Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted disease or infection (STI) in the United States, with approximately 14 million new cases of HPV infections occurring every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost every man or woman who is sexually active will experience HPV at some point in their lifetime. With that being said, many of those individuals will experience HPV without knowing it. Since HPV is so common in the United States, HPV vaccinations are highly recommended to avoid getting an HPV infection and spreading it to others.

Who can get HPV?

HPV is spread by skin to skin contact during vaginal, anal and oral sex. It is possible to have an HPV infection present symptoms years after exposure.

While human papillomavirus is commonly understood as a sexually transmitted disease, it does not require sexual activity to spread from person to person. In addition to sexual transmission, HPV can also be spread to individuals who sit down on or touch an infected surface. With that being said, HPV is most commonly spread through sexual intercourse and activity. As such, anyone who is sexually active can become infected with the human papillomavirus. Other risk factors for acquiring HPV include the following:

  • Age, as genital warts most commonly affect adolescents and young adults, while children often experience common HPV warts
  • Cuts, abrasions, or small punctures or openings in the skin
  • Physical contact with another person’s HPV warts
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Weakened immune system

What are HPV symptoms?

Unfortunately, there are usually no sign or symptoms of the HPV strains that cause cancer. Non cancer-causing strains of HPV can be identified by noticing cauliflower shaped bumps in the genital area.

In the majority of human papillomavirus infections, there are no symptoms. However, when symptoms do appear with HPV infections, the most common symptom is genital warts. Such genital warts can occur on the vulva, in or around the vagina, in or around the anus, in the groin and inner thigh area, or on the cervix. Genital warts are white or skin-colored flat lesions that are often said to resemble small pieces of cauliflower.

Other types of warts that can occur with HPV include common warts, which resemble rough, raised bumps that most often occur on the hands and fingers; plantar warts, which are coarse growths that appear on your heels or the balls of your feet; and flat warts, which are flat-topped and slightly raised lesions that can occur anywhere on the body, including the face, beard area, and legs.

How is HPV treated?

In most cases the body’s immune system will clear the HPV virus. However, early detection through pap smears and prevention through the HPV vaccine are the best strategies to avoid cervical cancer.

While there is no cure for the human papillomavirus itself, there are treatment options for any symptoms caused by the virus. With that in mind, some medications and treatments to eliminate or remove HPV warts include the following:

  • Cryotherapy
  • Electrocautery
  • Laser surgery
  • Salicylic acid
  • Surgical removal
  • Topical creams, such as imiquimod or podofilox
  • Trichloroacetic acid

In general, most doctors will prescribe medication before attempting a procedural removal of the HPV warts.

What is the HPV vaccine?

The HPV vaccine prevents infection of the most common causes of HPV infection.

Should I get the HPV vaccine?

Yes, if you are under the age of 45 you should consider vaccine and discuss with your physician. The GARDISIL 9 vaccine was recently expanded for men and women 27-45 years old.

What are side effects for the HPV vaccine?

Aside from a sore arm, there are few serious side effects reported. There are very few contraindications to vaccine and should be discussed with physician.

For more information about HPV or to schedule an appointment with one of our OBGYN’s at Women’s Healthcare of Illinois, we encourage you to call us or schedule an appointment through our website! We serve patients from Evergreen Park IL, Mokena IL, Oak Lawn IL, Chicago Ridge IL, Hickory Hills IL, Bridgeview IL, and Bedford Park IL.