What HPV Really Feels Like
HPV is one of the most common and least talked about STIs. Here’s what it really feels like.
HPV is actually surprisingly common — and if you do get the virus, it doesn’t mean your sex life is over.
The first thing you should know is that HPV is actually surprisingly common — and if you do get the virus, it doesn’t mean your sex life is over.
HPV infects about 80 million people in the United States alone. According to Planned Parenthood, one out of every four people will contract some form of HPV at some point in their lives. Most strains of HPV cause no symptoms at all; others may result in genital warts (which are generally treatable), or can lead to cervical cancer if left untreated. Fortunately, cervical cancer can also be prevented if you receive regular Pap tests and follow up on abnormal results from your doctor with additional testing and treatment as needed.
The name “human papillomavirus” might sound scary, but what does that even mean?
First things first: the name “human papillomavirus” might sound scary, but what does that even mean?
HPV is a family of viruses. There are over 100 types of HPV that infect the skin and mucous membranes in your body. More than 80% of the population will be infected with at least one type of this virus at some point during their lifetime. Most people don’t even know they have it because they don’t show symptoms or experience any health problems from it. However, there are certain strains of HPV that can cause warts (papillomas) and cancer in both men and women.
The truth is that it’s extremely likely you’ve had HPV at some point in your life.
The truth is that it’s extremely likely you’ve had HPV at some point in your life. Some 80 million Americans currently have it, and most likely will never even know it. According to research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, only 2 percent of people who have HPV will develop symptoms within two years of being infected by the virus—and half of those people will clear the virus from their body within one year on their own.
Many men and women find out they have genital warts when they go to see their doctor for something unrelated and are tested for STDs as part of their exam. But according to Dr. Michelle Diament, assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, there are no specific tests available for HPV; doctors must usually rely on visual inspection (which isn’t always reliable) or test for chlamydia or gonorrhea as a proxy marker for infection with other STDs such as HPV.
There is another component to HPV: warts.
While most people with HPV do not have symptoms and the infection clears up on its own, you could develop genital warts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than 1% of all sexually active people in the U.S. have genital warts at any given time.
Although it’s rare to find out that you have genital warts, if you think that you might be infected with HPV, it is important to get tested as soon as possible.
If you have genital warts, your doctor has a few options for treating them.
If you have genital warts, your doctor has a few options for treating them. If you choose to have them removed by freezing, burning or laser, the area will be numbed first and then the doctor will apply a freezing liquid or use heat to destroy the virus. The skin may burn slightly afterward but it’s usually not painful.
If you choose to have them removed with a chemical called podophyllin (also known as Condylox), your doctor will put it on your warts and leave it overnight before removing the dead skin cells with tape or gauze pads that are soaked in vinegar and water. Although podophyllin is safe when used by doctors under their supervision, try not to touch any areas that were affected by this medicine yourself because it can cause irritation if handled too soon after application—even if you only think about touching those areas!
If you choose iced tea instead of cream for treatment because tea tree oil works wonders against HPV-related issues such as genital warts! It’s especially effective when applied topically in combination with an antiseptic like tea tree oil shampoo containing 5% salicylic acid (which does wonders for killing acne bacteria). You’ll want something such as “Tea Tree Oil Shampoo” from Avalon Organics which contains both ingredients – though other types may suffice depending on how bad things have gotten!
The second option is to freeze off the warts. This is especially effective at preventing them from spreading and works by freezing to death any nearby skin cells that might be infected.
Still, having genital warts can be an unsettling experience.
Having genital warts can be an unsettling experience, no matter how many times you’ve been exposed to the virus.
It’s important to remember that genital warts aren’t a sign of promiscuity or poor hygiene; they are caused by a virus and aren’t necessarily infectious. It’s normal to feel self-conscious about having genital warts, but it’s also important not to blame yourself for them—and certainly not your partner!
Even though HPV is so common (and there are ways you can protect yourself against getting it), having a diagnosis can still be stressful and upsetting. But remember: You’re not alone in this fight—there are resources online and in-person support groups where you can find others who have gone through similar experiences with HPV as well as other STIs like syphilis and herpes.
For some people, genital warts can be a source of physical discomfort.
While HPV is often thought of as a sexually transmitted infection, it can also be transmitted from mother to baby during birth.
It’s not just the physical symptoms of genital warts that are so unpleasant — for some people, genital warts can be a source of embarrassment and stress. They may feel that they’re at risk for judgment or ridicule because they have them. And since many people don’t want to talk about their symptoms, they may feel isolated or depressed as well.
If you have genital warts, it’s important to remember they don’t have to change the way you have sex or think about yourself.
- Don’t let genital warts change the way you have sex.
- Remember that they don’t have to change the way you feel about yourself or your body.
- Even though they’re unsightly and uncomfortable, genital warts are not a sign of HIV infection—and they aren’t cancerous.
The fact that HPV can lead to cervical cancer is one of the main reasons why the virus is often discussed in hushed tones and with a lot of negative connotations.
The fact that HPV can lead to cervical cancer is one of the main reasons why the virus is often discussed in hushed tones and with a lot of negative connotations. But what many people don’t realize is that there are more than 100 strains of HPV, some of which cause genital warts alone. Some strains also cause no symptoms at all, while others may result in genital warts, small cell carcinoma of the cervix and vaginal cancer.
So while it’s important to be aware that you could contract HPV through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it, we want to remind you that there’s nothing inherently wrong with having this infection—and that most people who have it don’t even know about it!
What does having an STI feel like? Keep reading for insight into what it feels like for some people who have had STIs (including chlamydia).
Most women with HPV never need to worry about cervical cancer or pre-cancerous lesions because their immune systems will get rid of the infection without any intervention from doctors.
HPV is a normal part of the human body. Most people with HPV don’t even know they have it because their immune systems will get rid of it without any intervention from doctors. HPV is a virus that can cause warts, but it’s not the same as HIV—HIV attacks your entire body and makes you very sick, whereas most people with HPV never experience any symptoms at all.
It’s estimated that more than 80% of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives.
Despite its prevalence, there are still some myths about how dangerous HPV can be. For example:
Getting regular pap smears and checkups as part of your reproductive healthcare is key to making sure your symptoms are monitored and treated effectively if necessary.
- Getting regular pap smears and checkups as part of your reproductive healthcare is key to making sure your symptoms are monitored and treated effectively if necessary.
- Pap smears can help prevent cervical cancer, but they aren’t always accurate so it’s important that you go in with an open mind and keep an eye out for any unusual changes to your cervix.
- Pap smear nightmares may be common, but they don’t have to be! It’s important to do everything in your power to make sure that no matter how uncomfortable or embarrassing the procedure might be, you’ll still get the care you need when it comes down to it.
Although HPV seems scary at first, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
- HPV is common, but you don’t have to be afraid of it.
- Although you may feel ashamed of having HPV, you shouldn’t. There’s nothing wrong with being diagnosed with the virus—it’s a lot more common than many people think: up to 80% of sexually active men and women will contract it at some point in their lives.
- HPV can be treated, even if you’re not worried about it yet. The good news is that there are treatments for most strains of the virus, so even if your doctor diagnoses you with genital warts or abnormal cervical cells (a possible sign of HPV), there are ways to get rid of them! It’s important for people who haven’t received an official diagnosis from a doctor not to self-treat themselves; instead, talk about treatment options with your primary care physician or OB/GYN before starting any course of treatment so that everyone knows what’s going on and can keep track of your progress together.
If you think you might have HPV, it’s important to see a doctor right away. If you’re lucky, the virus will go away on its own. But if not, and your symptoms are severe enough to warrant treatment, there are safe and effective options available that can help reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer in the future.