Treatment and Prevention of HPV

Genital warts that appear sometimes when you have HPV can be treated. There is however no cure for HPV. You can only treat the warts. Some genital warts can disappear without treatment. You cannot predict ahead of time, which warts are likely to grow and which ones are likely to disappear. If you do suspect that you may have genital warts, you should be examined by a medical professional and receive treatment, if necessary.

Your physician will recommend treatment depending on several factors about the wart. The size, and the location of the wart are the two factors that physicians will take into consideration.

Warts can be treated by one of the following methods:

0.5 % podofilox solution
20 % podophyllin antimitotic solution

5 % 5-fluorouracil cream

Imiquimod cream

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)

Pregnant women who have genital warts should not be treated with podophyllin or podofilox because they can be absorbed by the skin and could cause birth defects in the unborn baby. 5-fluorouracil cream should also not be used in pregnant women.

Warts that are small may be removed by one of the following methods:

    Cryosurgery – which is freezing

    Electrocautery – which is burning

    Laser treatment

Large warts that have not responded to any other treatment may have to be surgically removed.

Even though warts may be able to be removed, the HPV virus itself cannot be removed from your body. Even after warts have been removed, new grow can occur because the virus is still in your body.

How to Prevent HPV

The only true way to prevent any sexually transmitted disease it to totally abstain from sex.

If you do have sex a good way to prevent sexually transmitted disease is to be sure that you have sex with one partner for life and that your partner is only having sex with you and no one else.

Condoms can prevent HPV but not eliminate the danger of contacting the HPV virus from an infected partner.

Complications of HPV

Some types of HPV can cause cervical cancer. Other types of HPV can cause anal cancer, cancer of the penis (a rare cancer), or vulvar cancer.

Most HPV infections do not advance to cancer

HPV and Pregnancy

Genital warts can cause problems during pregnancy. Genital warts should be removed prior to birth. The baby could be exposed to the HPV virus through contact with the warts during vaginal delivery. During pregnancy warts can become larger. If the warts are in the urinary tract they can make it difficult to urinate. If the warts are in the vagina they can make the vagina less elastic and even cause obstruction during the process of delivery of the baby.

The baby can develop a rare but life-threatening disease from the mother’s HPV called respiratory papillomatosis, which are warts that develop in the infant’s throat.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil. This is the first vaccine to be developed with the purpose of preventing cervical cancer, precancerous genital lesions and genital warts due to HPV.