As the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States, the human papillomavirus (HPV) affects over 79 million Americans and is a concern for all sexually active women. HPV can have long-term health consequences, including increased risk for cervical cancer. Dr. Barry Fish and his experienced staff offer accurate HPV screenings and treatment options at his Fairlawn, Ohio, OB/GYN practice to reduce your risk for HPV-related complications. For more information on HPV prevention and testing, schedule an appointment online or by phone.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that spreads through unprotected vaginal, oral, and anal sex with an infected person.
In some cases, HPV goes away on its own without identifiable symptoms or medical intervention and you don’t even know you have it. However, HPV can also result in the development of warts on the genitals or various cancers. HPV can increase the risk for cancers of the:
Cancer can also develop in the throat as a result of oral sex with an infected person.
As HPV doesn’t always show symptoms, it can be impossible to know if a person has the infection without HPV testing. For this reason, having protected sex is vital to preventing the spread of HPV to your sexual partners.
Many women who have HPV have no obvious symptoms. It is only through routine screenings that Dr. Fish can determine an HPV diagnosis.
HPV testing is available at Dr. Fish’s Fairlawn OB/GYN practice. He typically performs the test during a pelvic exam by collecting cervical cell samples for analysis at a lab. This test can determine if you have precancerous or cancerous cells.
If you have genital warts, Dr. Fish can confirm an HPV diagnosis through a visual exam of your genitals and may take samples of the warts for further testing.
While there is no cure or treatment for the human papillomavirus itself, Dr. Fish can treat visible warts with prescription medications. It’s important to note that treating the warts doesn’t cure an HPV infection. The virus may still remain after treatment and possibly cause the growth of new genital warts in the future. However, treating HPV-related warts ensures they won’t develop into cancer.
Routine HPV testing can screen for HPV-related cancers, and Dr. Fish can also discuss viable preventive measures you can take to thwart the spread of HPV, including the consistent use of condoms during sexual activity.
Teenagers, both male and female, can receive vaccinations to prevent HPV infections between the ages of 11 and 12. If a young adult didn’t receive HPV vaccinations as a child, there can have a catch-up vaccination up until age 21.
To learn more about the benefits of HPV screenings, schedule an appointment online or by phone with Dr. Fish’s office.