External genital disease today is the most common aggressive pathology. For example, HPV infection is asymptomatic for a long time and can have serious consequences. Certain viral strains can cause cancer of the rectum, vagina, and cervix. Therefore, it is important to diagnose it in a timely manner and begin appropriate treatment.
What is HPV?
Human papillomavirus is a common infection of the genital tract. This pathogen is found in almost every inhabitant of the sixth planet. When infected, pathogens enter epithelial cells, disrupting the process of division, which activates the development of various diseases. Most often, the virus infects the organs of the genitourinary system, the anorectal area. Diseases that occur during HPV infection:
- Formation of genital warts.
- Development of respiratory tract papillomatosis.
- Damage to the genitals with the development of tumor processes.
Nearly 70% of the population are carriers of the pathogen without clinical manifestations of the disease. Re -infection may also occur throughout life. Because not everyone with a papillomavirus infection develops resistance to the virus.
Types of HPV
More than 100 types of HPV are known. Some of them are relatively safe for human health, while others can activate the development of oncological processes. Often, the clinical signs of the disease do not appear at an early stage. Usually, the first symptoms appear after the action of the provoking factor.
According to oncological activity, the virus is classified into:
- Strains with high oncogenic risk (18, 16, 31, 33, etc. )
- Strains with low oncogenic risk (6, 11, 32, 40-44, 72)
Low oncogenic viral strains cause the appearance of warts and skin papillomas on the surface of the body.
High oncogenic strains cause the formation of genital warts in the anogenital zone, on the surface of the cervix in women and the penis in men.
Long -term exposure to the body of 16, 18, 31, 33 types of viruses can cause cervical dysplasia and a more devastating disease - cervical cancer.
However, although there is HPV in the body with a highly oncogenic risk, oncological pathology does not always develop. Timely appeal to an experienced doctor for diagnostics, properly selected treatment, will allow you not to face dangerous clinical manifestations of human papillomavirus.
How can you be infected
Women and men are equally infected with this pathogen.
The main route of transmission is considered sexual. HPV is usually contracted after the first sexual intercourse, but other modes of transmission are also differentiated:
- Upright. That is, while passing through the birth canal of an HPV -infected woman, the newborn can become infected.
- Autoinoculation. Self -infection (transfer from one part of the body to another) is possible during epilation or shaving.
- Contact and household. Human papillomavirus remains viable in the environment for some time. Therefore, they can be infected after visiting public places (baths, gyms, swimming pools).
- Call. Possible infection through the surface of the wound on the skin or mucous membranes (abrasions, wounds, bruises).
- Sexual. The most common route of infection.
Anyone can get a viral infection. To diagnose it in a timely manner, you need to undergo a preventive examination with a doctor to determine the first pathological symptoms.
The main manifestations of infection
The presence of papillomavirus infection may have no clinical manifestations for a long time. The incubation period of the disease can last for several years, during which patients can become infected with various types of viruses. Only after exposure to provoking factors (immunodeficiency, hypothermia, depressed state), signs of HPV infection can be observed. In most cases, self-healing from this infection occurs in 1-2 years, but in some patients the pathology becomes chronic.
The disease can manifest itself in formations such as:
- Genital warts (genital warts). Externally, this is a papillary growth that resembles a cauliflower or a comb shape. They are fleshy or pink in color, and can be single or double. They can form anywhere, but are most often found on the skin and genital mucosa. The formation is characterized by low oncogenic potential. They rarely turn into malignant neoplasms, usually not causing discomfort to the patient.
- Flat warts. They have a characteristic structure - they do not protrude above the surface of the mucous membrane of the affected organ. Such formations have high oncological potential, therefore, they require more thorough diagnosis. Usually located on the mucous membranes of the vaginal wall, urethra, cervix. To diagnose the nature of the condyloma, a biopsy is required.
- Dysplasia. It is characterized by a violation of the differentiated tissue structure. Often there is the presence of atypical cells that can lead to the development of oncological pathology.
- Requires close observation, and, if necessary, surgical correction.
Each form of pathology must be carefully monitored by a physician. To reduce the risk of developing oncological processes, it is recommended to remove such growths on the skin and mucous membranes.
It is necessary to diagnose the presence of HPV in stages; for this, a number of physical, laboratory and instrumental studies were used.
- Examination by a doctor. It can help identify the presence of warts. When genital warts are found, the cervix must be examined. Ureteroscopy is also possible.
- Colposcopy. Special tests are performed with a solution of acetic acid and iodine. With their help, you can determine the presence of atypical cells, signs of HPV infection and cervical cancer.
- Cytological examination. Pap smears are performed on the cervical mucosa. This is a screening test for the presence of precancerous and cancerous cells in the vaginal or cervical wall.
Also, histological examination of tissues can be performed, the detection of sexually transmitted diseases that are often associated with HPV infection. PCR methods have high diagnostic value. It can be used to identify HPV strains.
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Treatment
It is impossible to completely eliminate the virus from the patient's body. Doctors can only deal with the consequences of the life of the infectious agent. As a general therapy, symptomatic agents, antivirals and drugs that stimulate the immune process can be used.
To combat various types of genital warts, the following can be used:
- Cryodestruction, electrocoagulation, cauterization with lasers or chemicals. Such methods are effective for getting rid of genital warts.
- Electro -surgical treatment methods are used to remove the affected areas on the surface of the cervix (dysplasia, condyloma).
To prevent the development of this disease, various methods are used. The most effective are:
- Monogamous relationships. You only have sex with people who are your only sexual partner. This method will protect yourself from all sexually transmitted infections, including HPV.
- Barrier contraceptive use. It’s simple, affordable, but not always 100% safe from infection. Patients can be infected with the virus, even if the damaged skin comes in contact with the area.
- Periodic preventive inspections. Girls should be checked regularly by a gynecologist. Thus, you can detect the first signs of the disease and begin timely treatment.
- Vaccination. This is an effective and simple method of prevention. Vaccinations can be given to both men and women. The most effective vaccination is before sexual activity (use is allowed from the age of 9 years). Or people who are sexually active without any contraindications.
If you suspect the presence of an infection or the first manifestation of the disease, it is important to see a doctor to get high -quality diagnostics and timely treatment.