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There are more than 100 different types of human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is so prevalent that almost every man and woman who is sexually active will contract at least one form of the virus at some point. Some types of HPV can cause serious health problems, while others are relatively benign and may not even cause symptoms. Since everyone who is sexually active is at risk of contracting HPV, it’s a good idea to consult a gynecologist about its risks and, if necessary, HPV treatment .

A doctor speaking to a female patient

Identifying the Health Risks of HPV

Often, HPV does not cause any health problems and it can go away on its own. Other people experience health problems from HPV, such as genital warts, and oral and upper respiratory lesions. Additionally, certain types of cancer may be caused by HPV infection. In fact, most cases of cervical cancer are attributable to just two types of HPV, which are not the same types that cause genital warts. These forms of HPV can also cause oropharyngeal, penile, anal, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. An individual with HPV may be more likely to develop health problems, including cancer, if he or she has a suppressed immune system.

Reducing Your Risk of Acquiring HPV

You can talk to your gynecologist about reducing your risk of HPV . It’s highly advisable to use latex condoms during sexual intercourse, even if you’re using another birth control method such as the pill. However, be aware that HPV can infect areas of the body other than the reproductive organs. Being in a monogamous relationship can also lower the risk. Additionally, gynecologists urge males and females to get vaccinated for the types of HPV that can cause cancer. The HPV vaccine is indicated for boys and girls who are 11 to 12 years of age, and for men up to 21 years of age and women up to 26 years of age.

Women who require HPV treatment in Washington, D.C. can turn to Washington Surgi-Clinic for compassionate, confidential care. Our highly qualified gynecology team provides an array of women’s health services, including pregnancy termination. If you have any questions, call (202) 659-9403 and speak with a friendly staff member.