Diseases of the external genital organs today are the most common aggressive pathologies. For example, HPV infection is asymptomatic for a long time and can have serious consequences. Certain strains of the virus can cause cancer of the rectum, vagina and cervix. Therefore, it is important to diagnose it in time and start the appropriate treatment.

What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus is a common infection of the genital tract. This pathogen is found in almost every sixth inhabitant on the planet. When infected, the pathogen enters the epithelial cells, interrupting the process of division, which activates the development of various diseases. Mainly, the virus infects the organs of the genitourinary system, the anorectal region. Diseases that occur during HPV infection:

  1. The formation of genital warts.
  2. Development of papillomatosis of the respiratory tract.
  3. Damage to the genitals with the development of a tumor process.

Almost 70% of the population has the pathogen without clinical manifestations of the disease. Re-infection is also possible during life. Because not everyone who has had papillomavirus infections develops resistance to the virus.

hpc 3D model

Types of HPV

More than 100 types of HPV are currently known. Some of them are relatively safe for human health, while others can activate the development of the cancer process. Most of the time, the clinical signs of the disease do not appear in the early stages. Usually, the first symptoms appear after the action of the triggering factors.

According to oncological activity, these viruses are classified into:

  1. Strains with high oncogenic risk (18, 16, 31, 33, etc. )
  2. Strains with low oncogenic risk (6, 11, 32, 40-44, 72)

Low oncogenic virus strains lead to the appearance of warts and skin papillomas on the body surface.

Highly oncogenic strains cause genital warts to form in the anogenital zone, on the surface of the cervix in women and the penis in men.

Prolonged exposure to the body of 16, 18, 31, 33 types of the virus can lead to cervical dysplasia and a more formidable disease - cervical cancer.

However, even in the presence of HPV in the organism of high oncogenic risk, oncological pathology does not always develop. The timely appeal to experienced doctors for diagnoses, correctly selected treatment, will allow you to never face dangerous clinical manifestations of the human papillomavirus.

How you can get infected

Women and men are equally infected with this pathogen.

The main route of transmission is considered to be sexual. HPV is usually infected after the first sexual intercourse, but other ways of transmitting the infection are also distinguished:

  1. Vertical. That is, during the passage through the birth canal of a woman infected with HPV, the newborn can become infected.
  2. Self inoculation. Self-infection (transfer from one part of the body to another) is possible during epilation or shaving.
  3. Contact and family. The human papillomavirus remains viable in the environment for some time. Therefore, they can become infected after visiting public places (changing rooms, gym, swimming pool).
  4. Contact. Possible infection through the wound surface on the skin or mucous membranes (abrasions, wounds, bruises).
  5. Sexual. The most common route of infection.

Anyone can get a viral infection. In order to diagnose in a timely manner, you need to have preventive exams with a doctor to determine the first symptoms of the condition.

groin papillomas in women

The main manifestations of the infection

The presence of papillomavirus infection may not have clinical manifestations for a long time. The disease incubation period can last for several years, during which the patient can become infected with various types of the virus. Only after exposure to provocative factors (immunodeficiency, hypothermia, stressful situations), signs of HPV infection can be observed. In most cases, the self-healing of this infection occurs within 1-2 years, but in some patients the pathology becomes chronic.

The disease can manifest itself with these formations:

  1. Genital warts (genital warts). Externally, they are papillary protuberances that resemble cauliflower or a comb. They are skin color or pink and can be single or multiple. They can form anywhere, but are most often found on the skin and genital mucosa. Formations are characterized by low oncogenic potential. They rarely become malignant neoplasms, they generally do not cause discomfort to the patient.
  2. how are the genital papillomas
  3. 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 a high oncological potential, therefore, they require a more in-depth diagnosis. Usually located on the mucous membrane of the walls of the vagina, urethra, cervix. To diagnose the nature of the condyloma, a biopsy is required.
  4. flat warts on the body
  5. Dysplasia. It is characterized by a violation of the differentiated structure of the tissue. Often, atypical cells are present that can cause the development of oncological pathology.
  6. It requires careful observation and, if necessary, surgical correction.
dysplasia in the presence of papillomas

Each form of pathology must be carefully monitored by a doctor. To reduce the risk of developing an oncological process, it is recommended to remove such growths on the skin and mucous membranes.

HPV diagnosis

It is necessary to diagnose the presence of HPV in stages, for this purpose several physical, laboratory and instrumental studies are used.

  1. Examination by a doctor. It can help to identify the presence of warts. When genital warts are found, the cervix must be examined. Ureteroscopy is also possible.
  2. Colposcopy. Specific tests are performed with acetic acid and iodine solution. With their help, you can determine the presence of atypical cells, signs of HPV infection and cervical cancer.
  3. Cytological examination. The Pap smear is performed on the cervical mucosa. This is a screening test for the presence of precancerous and cancerous cells on the wall of the vagina or cervix.

In addition, histological examination of tissues can be performed, the detection of sexually transmitted diseases with which HPV infection is often associated. The PCR method has a high diagnostic value. It can be used to identify the HPV strain.

analysis for papillomas

Treatment of HPV (human papilloma virus)

It is impossible to completely eliminate the virus from the patient's body. The doctor can only deal with the consequences of the infectious agent's life. As general therapy, symptomatic, antiviral agents and drugs that stimulate immune processes can be used.

To combat various types of genital warts, the following can be used:

  1. Cryodestruction, electrocoagulation, cauterization with laser or chemicals. These methods are effective in getting rid of genital warts.
  2. Electrosurgical treatment methods are used to remove the affected area on the surface of the cervix (dysplasia, condyloma).
surgical methods of treating papillomas

HPV prevention

To prevent the development of the disease, several methods are used. The most effective are:

  1. Monogamous relationships. You only have sex with a person for whom you are the only sexual partner. This method will protect you from all sexually transmitted infections, including HPV.
  2. The use of barrier contraception. It's easy, affordable, but not always 100% safe from infections. The patient can become infected with the virus, even if the damaged skin comes into contact with the area.
  3. Periodic preventive examinations. Girls need to be examined regularly by a gynecologist. Thus, it is possible to detect the first signs of the disease and start treatment in a timely manner.
  4. Vaccination. It is an effective and convenient preventive method. Vaccination can be administered to both men and women. The most effective vaccination is before sexual activity (use is allowed from 9 years). Or sexually active people in the absence of contraindications.

If you suspect the presence of an infection or the first manifestations of the disease, it is important to see a doctor for high quality diagnoses and timely treatment.