Great Sex Secrets

Signs and Symptoms of HPV

Posted on: August 28, 2010

Notable HPV types and associated diseases

Image via Wikipedia

In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV within two years all by itself. Certain types of HPV can cause genital warts, and occasionally can also cause warts in the throat (recurrent respiratory papillomatosis or RRP.)

Other HPV types can cause cervical cancer in women, and less common but serious cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and head and neck (tongue, tonsils and throat).

Signs and symptoms of HPV-related problems from CDC:

Genital warts usually appear as a small bump or groups of bumps in the genital area. They can be small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower. Health care providers can diagnose warts by looking at the genital area during an office visit. Warts can appear within weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected partner—even if the infected partner has no signs of genital warts. If left untreated, genital warts might go away, remain unchanged, or increase in size or number. They will not turn into cancer.

Cervical cancer usually does not have symptoms until it is quite advanced. For this reason, it is important for women to get regular screening for cervical cancer. Screening tests can find early signs of disease so that problems can be treated early, before they ever turn into cancer.

Other HPV-related cancers might not have signs or symptoms until they are advanced and hard to treat.  These include cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and head and neck. For signs and symptoms of these cancers, see www.cancer.gov.

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