Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection: Indeed, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that nearly all sexually active people get it at some point in their lives. Dr. Elizabeth Eden’s practice in Sutton Place and Midtown East, New York, provides extensive expertise in the management of HPV, carefully monitoring the symptoms and issues associated with the virus and mitigating any long-lasting effects.
There are many different types of HPV, and nearly 80 million Americans have the virus. HPV is sexually transmitted through intercourse, both vaginally and annually, as well as orally.
Millions of women infected by HPV do not even know it, and the virus clears up on its own. Even if a woman is aware of having intercourse with someone who is infected, the virus may not show up for years after initial infection. To boot, there is no test that can definitively diagnose the status of HPV in a person.
For women over 30, pap smears that test for cervical cancer are good indicators of the potential existence of the virus. Overall, however, HPV is tricky to diagnose if no outward symptoms are evident.
While millions of women show no outward signs of HPV, the virus can present itself in several ways, including:
Through regular visits, Dr. Eden can monitor any HPV developments and treat them accordingly.
In 2006, the first HPV vaccine was released, which protects against the more common strains of the virus. The vaccine is recommended for women ages 9-26 and boys 9-15. The vaccine is not foolproof and does not protect against every type of HPV. Condoms can help protect against infection, but uncovered areas are still susceptible to transmission.
Since most HPV infections in women go unnoticed, there is no need for treatment. For women who develop genital warts as a result of HPV, treatments include:
More serious health issues are cancers that can result from an HPV infection, such as cervical cancer. Frequent cervix screenings are the best tools to detect cancerous conditions, allowing preventive or early treatment. Dr. Eden is well trained in HPV management and can guide women of all ages through any issues or symptoms that may arise from the virus.