What to do When You Test Positive for Human Papillomavirus

What to do When You Test Positive for Human Papillomavirus

There are several HPV strains, some of which might affect your throat, mouth, and feet. Genital HPV is common, especially in sexually active individuals. A significant percentage of sexually active individuals might contract sexually transmitted infection (STI) at least once in their life. Though HPV is harmless and might resolve without medical intervention, its high-risk strains might cause cancer. According to the all-female team at Contemporary Women’s Care, you do not need to feel embarrassed if you have an infection. Additionally, vaccinations can help address HPV-linked devastating cancers.

How do you get HPV?

HPV primarily spreads from skin-to-skin contact during a sexual act. Thus, you might get an STI when your cervix, vagina, vulva, or anus touches an infected person’s genitals or mouth during sex. Additionally, you might get the ailment from your partner’s cum, without anal, oral or vaginal penetration. Since HPV might resolve independently, a significant percentage of victims might never know they had it. After testing positive for HPV, your gynecologist might advise you:

  • Not to panic

The STI is prevalent in most sexually active individuals. The good news is that your body might fight the virus independently, preventing it from causing health complications for approximately 2 years. Once you test positive, it is crucial to work with the medical professional for him to address possible health concerns and design a treatment plan that might help resolve your symptoms.

  • Seek professional help immediately

HPV has no cure yet. However, there are several treatment options your doctor might suggest to address the health issues the STI might cause. For instance, prescription medication might help clear genital warts. Failure to get treatment for genital warts increases your risk of developing significant warts that might be challenging to address.

  • Go for regular tests

High-risk HPV strains might cause cancer. However, routine Pap smears and follow-ups will help your doctor track your cervix’s health before cancerous cells develop. When necessary, the medical professional might suggest a colposcopy to check for subtle abnormalities that might not be visible without a magnifying lens. The tests will help your doctor determine anything precancerous earlier before advancing to cervical cancer.

  • Cervical cancer has treatment

Knowing your cervical cancer stage is very vital. Your gynecologist might recommend treatment options, depending on the time of diagnosis and extent of infection. Sticking to the healthcare provider’s recommendations after testing positive for the virus might address the precancerous or cancerous earlier before they advance.  

An overwhelming percentage of HPV does not cause cervical cancer. Additionally, HPV-related cancers have treatment. Thus, testing positive during diagnosis should not discourage you. A less significant percentage of women with cancer-causing HPV strains will develop cervical cancer. On the other hand, most HPV resolve independently, without symptoms or medical intervention.

Can HPV cause other forms of cancer?

Though it is less significant in cases, HPV may increase your risk of developing head and neck cancers, thanks to having oral sex (especially with an infected partner). Since it is challenging to screen for such cancers, it is crucial to go for HPV vaccinations.

Though HPV has increased awareness, information concerning the infection remains confusing. Contact your gynecologist to know more about HPV and if you are at risk.  

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