Papilloma virus is a very common infection that can affect both women and men. But how is it transmitted? Is it possible to prevent it? Let’s find out
How many times have you heard of papilloma virus, but you don’t know what it is? Why is prevention important?
HPV, or Human Papilloma Virus is a virus that affects and infects the skin and mucous membranes, in very specific areas, there are about 150 different types and some of them are sexually transmitted. This virus causes benign lesions a bit like the warts that affect the skin of the feet and hands, instead this virus affects the genital mucosa and oral. It is not below to evaluate why not all genital HPV infections regress spontaneously, as a small part can, if not treated, slowly evolve towards a tumor form.
we give you some more information about it, about transmission and prevention.
Papilloma virus: what is it?
Papilloma virus or HPV represents a family of over 100 varieties of viruses, most genital HPV infections regress spontaneously , while another part, if left untreated, can slowly evolve towards a tumor. There are around 150 different types, which our immune system is able to fight, of which only 30 are sexually transmitted .
Of these 30 there are about 12 types that are defined at “ low risk ” and often they are cause of the codilomas they occur in the male and female genital areas of soft skin growths. The codilomas appear when our immune system fails to cope with the virus on its own, and the growths that usually disappear on their own manifest themselves
Otherwise, contact your gynecologist who after a visit will give you adequate treatment.
There are about 15 types of HPV deemed to be “ high risk ” which can cause cervical cancer or cervical cancer, so it hits the cervix. This type of tumor is widespread, so it is important to do adequate prevention with a Pap smear.
How is HPV contracted?
Papilloma virus is contracted sexually, especially in unprotected intimate relationships and with multiple partners, transmission is not so automatic, but if our immune system is very strong the probability of contracting it are lowered.
Surely the aggressiveness of the virus affects much more when the vaginal environment presents other infections and that therefore it has lost its defense capabilities.
According to Dr. Fruzzetti smoking and alcohol are other elements that facilitate infections of the uterus by HPV. The way in which the transmission of the virus occurs is irrelevant, that is to say if from man to woman or vice versa: “ even men are liable to infections to the urogenital HPV tract”.
The symptoms most common
Most people who have contracted the papilloma virus manage to defeat it within a certain period, sometimes without knowing they have contracted it, because the immune system defeats HPV by itself and therefore the virus remains asymptomatic .
There are cases in which the absence of specific symptoms does not allow those affected by the virus to notice it and to take the necessary measures. In some cases papilloma virus occurs through the codilomas, but in the worst cases cervical cancer occurs .
The latter can be asymptomatic in some cases, or in others it can manifest problems that can also go unnoticed as:
- aqueous leaks
- blood loss: in periods away from menstruation or in menopause
- pelvic pain
- unpleasant odors
Cervical cancer develops in most cases because a woman does not notice that she has contracted the virus and after periods when she does not have a gynecological examination. HPV DNA integrates with that of the host cell giving rise to cancer cells. For this reason prevention is important therefore it is advisable to do pap-test and HPV-test are of fundamental importance to prevent the onset of more serious problems.
Transmission of papilloma virus
The papilloma virus is transmitted mostly through complete intimate relationships, transmission can also take place through the exchange of infected underwear and at the time of delivery. HPV transmission generally occurs through intimate relationships of a natural nature:
- contact of the external genitalia
Among these listed the most risky are genital-genitals and genital anus in the others the chances of contracting the virus are slightly reduced. In general, the best contraceptive methods are condoms, even if they only partially protect against infection. A study has shown that the transmission of the virus can also occur from the shaft of the male genital organ, from the perineum or from the groin. It is however important to use condoms both for HPV and for other sexually transmitted diseases.
Vaccine papilloma virus: who can do it
The vaccine for papilloma virus is not suitable for all women, because a study has shown that it is more effective for women who are never exposed to any risk in summer. So all the women who have never had any kind of sexual intercourse. The vaccine is free for girls around the age of 11-12 but in some regions they have extended the age groups even to more adult girls or boys. The vaccine is administered in two doses at 0 and 6 months to retain complete vaccination, but no boosters are currently being redone.
After the administration of the vaccine, as happens with every drug, there could be side effects such as:
- irritation and pain in the injection area .
How to treat papilloma virus
In most cases, the papilloma virus is treated on its own, but very often it happens that the infection is asymptomatic precisely because it is our immune system that eliminates the papilloma virus on its own. The gynecologist will prescribe the right drugs to you or in some cases decide to intervene surgically.
I codilomas must be treated locally with antiviral creams or with topical solutions based on salicylic acid or trichloroacetic acid.
In some cases it is necessary to intervene with surgical treatments such as:
- laser therapy
When I am present some precancerous lacerations of the uterine cervix, unfortunately a partial removal of the cervix is necessary but this does not alter the reproductive capacity of the woman.
In general it is important to do prevention through the pap test, from when you have the first sexual intercourse to rise and with an HPV-test from 30 years onwards.