What is HPV Virus?
Genital warts seen in both men and women are the symptom of sexually transmitted HPV infection in the genital area. It is also called “condyloma acuminata”. HPV virus (Human papilloma virus) has more than 200 varieties, 40 of which cause genital warts. The most common types of warts are HPV 6 and HPV 11. However, these HPV types do not cause cancer.
Especially in women, other HPV types can be found in the body at the same time and therefore tests such as Pap Smear should be performed. Genital warts are in the form of light or dark brown swellings and sometimes spots on the skin. Multiple warts can appear side by side as cauliflower, as can be seen individually. Warts are sometimes mistaken for flesh or not noticeable at all. They can itch or cause bleeding during sexual intercourse.
It is estimated that 60 percent of women and men will experience HPV at some time in their lives. After the virus enters the body, it is usually suppressed by the immune system. Types that cause genital warts when not suppressed, show symptoms after an average of 1 year after contamination.
Whether the virus gives symptoms or not, it is possible to infect other people because it is in the body. Therefore, it cannot be determined when and from whom the HPV virus was transmitted. The sooner genital warts are diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Warts are treated with creams, various burning methods or surgery according to their size.
Genital warts are seen at a rate of 1 percent in the society. In the 20s, this rate rises to 7 percent. Even if the cervical cancer vaccine is made, screening programs must be continued. Smear should be done every three years for all women from the age of 21.
Screening Co-Test , in which HPV and PAP smear test are used together, is recommended to be performed from the age of 30. If both of these results are good , the rate of developing cervical cancer or pre-cancerous lesions drops to 0.88 percent within five years .
How Is HPV Transmitted?
HPV virus can be seen in both genders and is transmitted from person to person through sexual contact. In addition to vaginal and anal intercourse, HPV can also be transmitted by skin contact in the genital area that is not covered by a condom.
Although the genital warts are not visible, contact of the HPV-infected skin with the genital area is sufficient for the virus to be transmitted.
It is rarely transmitted by oral sexual intercourse.
HPV can remain silent in the body for many years after being infected and does not cause genital warts in everyone. In many people, HPV is inactivated by the body’s defense system.
Warts may appear a few months or years after transmission of HPV types that cause genital warts. During this time, the person becomes a carrier and can transmit the disease to others.
In pregnant women with HPV, it can be passed from mother to baby during delivery.
It is not possible to determine which partner the genital warts have been transmitted and how long the virus has been in the body.
Warts can multiply and grow in size in untreated patients.
Genital warts are not transmitted by kissing, using towels, cutlery, glasses or toilets.
Ways of Protection
Always use a condom during vaginal, anal, or oral sex – however, the virus can also be transmitted through areas of skin that are not protected by a condom.
Do not have sexual intercourse while being treated for genital warts.
HPV vaccineBook: The most effective way to protect from HPV; for both women and menHPV vaccine is to be.
Used all over the world and made in some countries from childhood HPV vaccineprovides protection against the most common cancer-causing HPV type 16 and 18. In addition, the quadrivalent (quadrivalent) vaccine has protection against types 6 and 11 that cause genital warts. It can protect from 90 percent of all cervical cancers as well as from warts at the same rate.
Genital warts are the size of a pinhead, blistered and rough. When they are more than one, they can combine to get the appearance of cauliflower. Initially, they may be skin-colored or in the form of brown bumps. While warts usually do not cause any complaints, they can sometimes cause itching and bleed during sexual intercourse.
Genital Warts May Occur In The Following Areas
Warts can be single, grouped, raised above the skin, flat or “cauliflower” shaped.
The skin can be puffy, rough, leather color, light brown or gray in color.
Generally, there is no pain or pain sensation. However, itching may occur.
It can bleed lightly during sexual intercourse.
It can appear within weeks or months after sexual contact with a person with warts.
HPV infection that causes genital warts can rarely cause warts in the throat if the mouth touches the genital area.
- In the vulva (external female genital area)
- In or around the vagina
- In or around the anus
- In the groin (where the genital area meets the inner thigh)
- In the cervix
- One or more occurrences between the legs or anus.
Genital warts are very typical in terms of their appearance. Diagnosis of genital warts can be diagnosed by examining the warts by an examination by a Skin Diseases Specialist (Dermatologist) . It can also be diagnosed by Gynecology and Urology . It can be detected in women, especially during a routine annual gynecological examination.
If you have genital warts that bend , do not have sexual intercourse until your treatment is over and inform your partner as well. HPV in women is an important risk factor for cervical cancer . Therefore, the following tests are performed for the presence of other HPV types besides genital warts:
Pap Smear Test
During the gynecological examination, a sample is taken from the entrance of the vagina with a special brush or spatula. It is a painless procedure. It is determined whether there is a cellular change in the cervix. Smear test alone is not enough to diagnose cancer. A positive smear test indicates that there is a problem and that diagnostic tests should be done.
HPV DNA tests
If the Pap smear is abnormal, the possibility of HPV causing cancer is investigated.
It is the examination of the vulva, vagina and cervix with a lighted magnifying glass.
Cell changes that may cause cancer are investigated by taking tissue from the cervix.
There is no cure to remove HPV infection from your body. However, genital warts can be destroyed by the following methods. In the treatment, it is not only aimed to eliminate the warts, but also to completely clean the tissue with the wart.
Genital warts are treated with cream, cryotherapy (burning) or freezing, and surgery if the wart is large.
These are drugs that provide treatment by chemically burning the wart tissue.
This allows the wart to freeze and dissolve by spraying liquid nitrogen. It does not require anesthesia.
Warts are burned by electric current, the operation is performed by numbing that area with local anesthesia.
It is usually performed under anesthesia and the warts are removed by the surgeon one by one. The main goal in the treatment is to completely destroy the base tissue where the warts are found.
With all these treatment methods, existing warts heal. However, the carrier can continue for years. Therefore, warts may come out again depending on the changes in the person’s immune system.
Treatment of HPV / Genital Warts in Men
Today, there is no test that can show the presence of HPV in men . Warts are usually seen on the penis, scrotum, anus and groin of men. If warts, flesh, swelling, wounds, ulcers, white spots or other abnormal structures are noticed in and around the penis, a specialist should be consulted.
HPV types that can cause warts in the genital area are not the same as types that can cause cancer. Other types can cause penile, anus and oral and throat cancers. However, HPV prevention is still important for men, as the virus is linked to rare cancers such as penile, anal, and head and neck.
The treatment of genital warts in men is done by medication, surgery, and by burning or freezing.