Papillomavirus infection (human papillomavirus, papillomavirus) is an oncogenic disease that manifests itself in the form of papillary formations (warts, warts) on the human skin or genitals. Both men and women are almost equally susceptible to the virus.
It should be noted that this type of infection may indicate the formation of a malignant tumor. More than 100 species of this virus are known in medicine today. About 30 of them affect only the female genitals.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has studied HPV - the human papillomavirus so briefly - and found that more than 60% of the world's population is infected with it. Moreover, some of them are only carriers, while others are manifested in the form of papillomatosis of the skin, mucous membranes, but in some cases human papillomavirus causes cell degeneration and cancer.
About 60% of the world's population is a potential carrier of human papillomavirus infection. In most cases, the virus is transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person. In addition, the provoking factors are as follows:
- Start sexual activity at an early age;
- Unprotected sex, frequent change of sexual partners;
- Chronic inflammation in the genital area, infectious diseases of the genitourinary system;
- Frequent abortions;
- Weak immunity;
- Alcohol abuse;
- Failure to follow the rules of personal hygiene.
As medical practice shows, women are mostly at risk. The probability of such a disease is quite high in the age group of 20-45 years, ie those who have an active sexual life.
The symptoms of this type of infection depend on what was the provoking factor. The disease does not have a unified clinical picture. However, you can distinguish the following symptoms:
- Formation of warts;
- Skin irritation in the genital area;
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse;
- Redness and partial itching.
At the same time, it should be noted that the symptoms in the form of skin irritation and itching may indicate another disease. So self-medication is by no means worth it. With such symptoms, it is best to consult a dermatologist immediately.
Warts most often appear in the following areas:
- On the skin of the wrists, soles;
- In the genital area;
- In the oral cavity.
In more severe cases, this type of infection can develop in the cervix, bladder and vagina. The only way to get rid of warts is surgery. Human papillomavirus infection in women can lead to cervical cancer. As for men, oncogenic factor is much rarer.
It should also be noted that in the first stage of development this type of disease disease is practically absent. This is what often causes the oncogenic risk factor for infection.
Infection with the virus is possible only if a healthy person has genital microtrauma. In this case, the papillomavirus enters the body of a healthy person and begins to develop.
The incubation period of an oncogenic type virus can last from a few months to several years, although it does not show any symptoms. In other words, an already infected person may be on the train and not know about it.
HPV in women
As already mentioned, women aged 20-45 are the most susceptible to the virus. But here it is noteworthy that in the main risk group are those who often change sexual partners and have unprotected sex.
This type of infection in women is divided into the following groups:
- High oncogenicity;
- Low oncogenicity;
- Non-oncogenic type.
The most dangerous for a woman's health is a high type of oncogenic infection. Almost always causes cancer - a malignant tumor, cervical cancer. The risk of such development of pathology is 90%. The condition is also aggravated by the fact that in the initial stage of development the disease does not show symptoms. Occasionally small warts may appear on the wrists and feet.
With infection of high oncogenicity, warts arise. These are wart-like formations but with jagged edges. Such formations may appear in the vagina, anus, perineum. Sometimes warts can take the form of blisters with a liquid that eventually dies and emits an unpleasant odor.
High-grade HPV infection can also lead to vaginal and vulvar cancer. In more rare clinical cases, nasopharyngeal cancer is possible. It should be noted that a high form of HPV oncogenesis is almost impossible to completely cure.
Papilloma virus in men
Papillomavirus infection in men can occur without any symptoms. It should be noted that men in the main risk group, who often change sexual partners, have unprotected sex.
Abnormal formations are localized in such places:
- On the head of the penis and on the shaft;
- On the skin of the scrotum;
- In the perineum;
- On the mucous membrane.
Such formations can be grouped. They usually do not cause itching and other unpleasant sensations. Very rarely they may be accompanied by itching or burning only during sexual intercourse.
This type of virus can take the form of high oncogenicity in men. It causes cancer of the genitals. But, if you start treatment on time, then the risk of oncogenic diseases is minimized. Warts caused by the HPV virus are removed surgically or with special chemical solutions. The route is prescribed antiviral drugs. Therefore, in the early stages of the development of this type of disease in men, it can be completely eliminated.
The diagnosis of HPV infection consists of several stages. Initially, a doctor is examined and the anamnesis is clarified. If the disease is suspected in women, then an initial examination should be performed by a gynecologist. The following tests may then be scheduled:
- Vaginal scraping;
- Vaginal tissue biopsy;
- PCR analysis.
The latter makes it possible not only to accurately determine the diagnosis, but also to determine the cause of the pathological process, the form of its development. If there is a risk of developing oncological disease, then in addition to general and biochemical analysis of blood, instrumental research methods are prescribed.
Colposcopy is mandatory if HPV infection is suspected. This is an examination of the cervix to reveal profound pathological changes.
As for men, the diagnosis is about the same picture. Examination is performed after examination by a urologist or surgeon.
Only according to the results of the diagnosis, a competent doctor can prescribe the correct course of treatment. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the lower the risk of complications.
There is currently no drug in medicine that can intentionally destroy the HPV virus. Therefore the treatment is complex. Not only the form of the disease but also the cause of its occurrence is taken into account. It should also be noted that a person who has been ill or infected with the HPV virus should be examined regularly by the attending physician. Complete cure of papilloma virus is possible only at an early stage. In any case, there is always a risk of developing cancer or developing a malignant tumor. Avoiding the virus is easier said than done.
Treatment of papillomavirus infection can be conditionally divided into the following stages:
- Removal of warts or warts;
- Drug therapy to prevent new growths;
- Therapy aimed at strengthening the immune system.
It should be noted that such a treatment program is used only if there is no risk of developing malignant tumors or sexually transmitted infections. If the latter is confirmed, the treatment program includes medications to eliminate the underlying disease. Antiviral drugs are used in any case. In most cases, a wide range of drugs is prescribed. However, the use of such drugs does not exclude the recurrence of the disease.
It is much more difficult to cure the HPV virus if it has become chronic and has a high oncogenic factor. In this case, additional tests are prescribed and chemotherapy is used.
Human papillomavirus can be treated only by a competent specialist. Self-medication is unacceptable here as the HPV virus is recognized as oncogenic. Therefore, in most cases, it is quite difficult to cure. Even surgical removal of genital warts or warts does not rule out their re-emergence.
How to treat papillomavirus properly, only a specialist can tell. The use of folk remedies for the treatment of HPV is not enough. Therefore, if symptoms of the disease are detected, you should seek competent medical attention immediately.
One of the most effective preventative measures is vaccination against the virus. This makes it possible to prevent not only HPV infection but also the development of cervical cancer in the body. In addition, you must follow the following rules:
- Only protected sex;
- Strengthening the immune system;
- Regular examination by a gynecologist or urologist;
- Personal hygiene.
You need to carefully monitor your health, do not use alcohol, smoke. As for intimate life, if possible, frequent change of sexual partners should be ruled out. In case of symptoms you should consult a doctor immediately and not self-medicate.