Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Treatment in Charleston, SC
HPV (also called human papillomavirus) is a virus that may cause a variety of health problems — or none at all. There are over 100 different strains of HPV and many of them will never directly affect your health. Other strains can cause genital warts or raise your risk for certain types of reproductive cancers. HPV is transmitted through sexual contact.
Learn more about HPV today: Call (843) 571-0200 or contact Harry Wade Boatwright online.
What is HPV?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States today. HPV is so common that health experts believe most sexually active men and women will contract the virus at some point in their lives.
HPV is spread most often through anal or vaginal intercourse, but you can receive the virus during oral sex as well. HPV can be transferred to another person even if no symptoms are present. This is known as asymptomatic HPV.
In many cases, HPV can enter your body and heal without noticeable symptoms. However, certain strains can't be removed by your body and may cause the following symptoms:
- Genital warts. Warts may be small or large and can appear alone or in a cluster. Warts are generally painless and may be flesh colored or gray. They may itch or bleed during intercourse.
- Common locations for genital warts for women include the cervix, walls of the vagina, in the space between the vagina and anus, and the external vulva (outside of the genitals). For men, warts can develop on the penis, scrotum or anus. Warts can also appear in the mouth or throat.
Cancer and HPV
HPV infection holds a close link to cervical cancer. Other types of HPV may also be responsible for cancers of the vulva, penis, anus, or mouth and throat. Preventing cancer should include regular pap smears for women. Men should see their regular healthcare provider for an annual checkup and report any changes in their reproductive health promptly.
HPV can also cause pre-cancerous changes in cervical tissue for women called dysplasia. Your provider may want to monitor these changes closely or treat abnormal cells.
Not every case of dysplasia will develop into cervical cancer, but be sure to follow your provider's monitoring instructions.
HPV is spread from one person to another, typically through sexual intercourse. Certain risk factors increase a person's likelihood of contracting the virus. Your risk for HPV infection is higher if you have:
- Unprotected sex with multiple partners
- You've had another STD in the past
- You start having sex at a young age
- You don't know your partner's sexual history
Unfortunately, because HPV is virus, antibiotic treatment isn't an option. HPV will remain with you for the rest of your life. Even with treatment, warts are likely to return. The most common treatments for HPV include:
Topical Treatments (applied to the skin)
- Creams to boost your immune system to fight the warts
- Resin to destroy the wart tissue
- Acids to burn away the warts
- Cryotherapy (freezing warts)
- Electrocautery to burn away warts
- Surgical excision (cutting out warts)
- Laser treatments
Each of these treatments comes with its own set of risks and side effects. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the best HPV treatment for your needs. It's likely that your provider will start with basic treatments and move to more complicated procedures as needed.
Request HPV treatment now: call (843) 571-0200 or contact Harry Wade Boatwright online.
Coastal Gynecology & Obstetrics
Address2093 Henry Tecklenburg Drive
Suite 304 East
Charleston, SC 29414
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm