Understanding the REAL FACTS on genital warts and HPV from someone who has actually dealt with the problem.
Below is an article with some info on genital warts and HPV that my main page does not cover. If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me directly. I’m a pretty friendly guy and know what you’re going through.
Also, after you’re done with this page, you can go back to my main page to find out the best natural genital warts treatment options.
Unfortunately few people know the real facts about genital warts. Facts like this: HPV (human papillomavirus) is the culprit, HPV can lead to Cervical Cancer, and 25 percent of women think that Pap tests prevent it.
But, contrary to what most websites (and even some doctors) would have you believe… it’s not all bad news. No, in fact, when you know ALL of the facts, HPV is not as scary as it might sound. The best news is that genital warts are very treatable and there have been major advancements in the medical world to treat the dreaded virus, not to mention ways to boost your own immune system to deal with it as much as possible.
Not All HPV types are Created Equal
There are literally hundreds of the human papillomavirus types, but only thirty of them are sexually transmitted. The other little troublemakers show up as warts on the hands, feet, eyeballs or other parts of the body when you come in contact with the skin of someone infected with the virus.
So what happens when you find out your partner is infected with the sexually …and terribly embarrassing… form? Do you panic and wait for massive outbreaks in unspeakable regions? Interestingly enough, only about fifteen viruses will ever show up. Most can be fought off by your immune system, given enough time and provided you are a healthy person (also not smoking and staying out of stressful situations can help too.) In these situations, you might never see or be aware that you were ever infected.
But what about the fifteen remaining culprits? This is where you’ve got to be especially careful! In these cases, genital warts may crop up and should be treated while your body tries to fight off the virus. Not only do these HPV types cause trouble, they can lead to Cervical Cancer if left unchecked.
The Day You Discover You Have It Can Be A Nasty Surprise
HPV is more common than most people would ever guess. In fact, the chances are that at any rodeo, race track or other social event, there is an all out viral attack going on inside the jeans of three out of four people you see. White hair and a senior citizen status don’t nix the chances of infection, either. If you’ve reached your 50th birthday, you have a whopping 80% chance of having had the virus in your lifetime.
Why would a virus be so common that it’s perfectly normal for women in their teens and early 20s to test positive? Because the virus is spread just by touching infected skin. You know what that means? Intercourse isn’t necessarily the culprit and no, condoms don’t always do the trick. If you touch an infected penis or scrotum with your skin, bingo… you’ve got it.
Genital Warts – More Bark than Bite
Out of all the STD’s you could possibly have, genital warts are probably the most tame. The worst part of it is probably the embarrassment factor, because these types rarely progress into anything serious or threaten fertility – unlike more serious STDs such as Chlamydia or Gonorrhea.
Within as little as one week to six months of contracting genital warts, you’ll notice the appearance of warts or clusters of warts – usually white or flesh colored. The sizes range from tiny little bumps to larger growths the size of a pea. Don’t freak out… these problematic growths usually don’t burn or bleed, but can sometimes itch.
It’s important to remember that once you’ve discovered genital warts, your sex life is not forever in ruins and your life is not over. You just need some help. I’ve helped a lot of people from this point forward, but as far as your gynecologist or doctor goes, they can prescribe a cream, however many people have reported it to badly burn and a lot of times not work very well anyway. It’s also fairly expensive, especially when you have to go back and get more of it next time. Another option they might suggest is getting the warts frozen or burnt off. Sometimes this works for people, but many report the warts returning within three to four months.
When it comes to genital warts, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean that the virus isn’t busy at work. The only way to be sure that it’s safe to have unprotected sex is to have your gynecologist check with a special magnifying glass. After about two years of no new eruptions, you’ve probably kicked the virus.
When something like HPV is so easily spread, we expect that every gynecologist will test for it along with the yearly exam and PAP. Right? Wrong! Here’s the deal…
Almost ALL of us would have a positive HPV test should we be tested annually. But not all HPV viruses are worth even worrying about. They show no symptoms and our bodies beat them up and kick them out without us ever knowing it. So why have most of the women across America sweating it out for nothing?
Another reason? Who would guess that HMO’s would be concerned with the cost-effectiveness of the test? So until you turn 30, or have symptoms that concern you, don’t expect a test. Before 30, a PAP smear that checks the cervical cell is probably all you’ll need or get.
What happens at 30? HPV that is still hanging around and hasn’t been beaten by then could be cause for concern. At that point your gynecologist will want to watch closely to be sure cervical cells are not being affected, changing and become early stage cancer cells.
Cervical Cell Changes… Then What?
About 5 percent of the 55 million PAP tests performed each year come back ASCUS (indicating an undetermined abnormality). If this happens to you, don’t start an all out panic attack yet. The lab will retest the cell sample for HPV. If the results are negative, the abnormal PAP was due to an inflammation.
What if it’s not negative? The next step is a colposcopy, a procedure that let’s your doctor get a close up look at the cervical cells. If there’s nothing suspicious, a six month follow-up PAP will be scheduled. Any threatening looking cells will be sent off for a biopsy.
It gets scarier sounding by the moment, but even if you have cells sent for a biopsy the chances that you have anything to worry about are only 50/50. So keep your head on your shoulders and remember that most of the cases disappear on their own.
If after two years the cells haven’t cleared up, your gynecologist may want to get rid of them using a scalpel, laser treatment or an electric current.
An HSIL (high grade cervical change) result is more cause for concern than the ASCUS. This means that precancerous or cancerous cell changes have been noted. You can expect a colposcopy, a biopsy, and even immediate removal of the cancerous cells.
The HPV Vaccine
In 2006 the FDA approved a shot (for women only) that they say is nearly 100 percent effective for the two types of HPV that are the culprits in 90 percent of genital wart outbreaks. They also say it protects against two virus types that 70 percent of cervical cancer cases stem from.
They claim just three shots in a six month period can keep you HPV free. Who do they want to get these shots? Females between the ages of 9 and 26. The shot is intended to protect females by immunizing them before they become sexually active.
But don’t believe all the hype. These shots may appear to work, but at a huge cost. There have been many reports of some pretty nasty side effects from the HPV vaccine in some women. For more up to date information about this, check in with Greg’s .
What about the rest of us?
Once you’ve reached 27, you’ve probably already been exposed to the virus. Some gynecologists argue that women over 26 may not have been exposed to all of the virus types the shot targets and would also benefit from it. The only drawback is that the effectiveness of the shot has not been tested on women over 27. Should your gynecologist suggest that you get it, regardless, you may want to consider both the pros and the cons.
Don’t throw away the condoms and safe sex rules! There are still cervical cancer causing types of the HPV that you aren’t protected from. A vaccine targeting these four types is expected to be introduced soon. And another thing to think about… the shots are so new that they don’t even know yet whether you’ll need a booster shot every five years to stay protected!
How To Stay Safe
Did you know that for every partner you slide between the sheets with during a month, your chances of contracting HPV increase ten times? It pays to put the breaks on your sex life, if it means living longer.
Smoking too is a cause for concern for gynecologists who detect cervical abnormalities. Their advice to women is to QUIT. Yes, I know it’s easier said than done, but women who have HPV are 67 percent more likely to have cervical cell changes.
Here’s the easy one… eat more pink and red fruits. Dining on a succulent and divine watermelon or eating a fresh vine-ripe tomato isn’t hard to do. The great part is that while we’re enjoying the delicious taste lycopene, an antioxidant, is invading your body and fighting for you. In fact, eating these two foods can decrease long-term infections from cancer causing HPV types by a whopping 56 percent!
As for men and those of you who have already contracted the virus or are out of range to benefit from the vaccine, you CAN be helped. Check out other parts of my website for pictures and more information.