HPV is the most common STD in the United States. While most strains of HPV are relatively harmless and disappear on their own, the experienced physicians at Ocean Obstetric & Gynecologic Associates understand that is not always the case. With two convenient locations in Ocean and Howell, New Jersey, the OB/GYN team offers the HPV vaccine to protect patients against infection. Call or book an appointment online now to learn more.
The human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). With more than 200 types, there are approximately 40 variations of HPV that infect your genital area, including your vulva, anus, rectum, cervix, and vagina.
Many patients with HPV experience no symptoms at all, which is why it’s important to ask for an STD screening at least once a year. Common HPV warning signs include:
In women, genital warts typically appear as flat, cauliflower-like lesions around the vulva and anus, while men often notice them around the scrotum and anus. Genital warts don’t usually hurt, but they may itch and cause discomfort.
Some non-sexually transmitted strains of HPV cause plantar warts, which are raised bumps that appear on the heels or balls of your feet.
Patients with HPV may notice raised, grainy warts on their hands or fingers. When left untreated, common warts may become uncomfortable or painful.
When left untreated, certain types of HPV can lead to cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, anal cancer, and even throat cancer in rare cases. If you think you have signs of HPV, talk to your doctor right away.
Because HPV spreads through sexual contact, it’s important to use protection, such as condoms, and talk to your partner about getting an STD screening before having sex. Fortunately, you can lower your chances of contracting HPV with the HPV vaccine, which helps to protect against certain types of the disease that cause genital warts and cancer.
The HPV vaccine is recommended to patients between the ages of 9 and 45, and is usually done in three separate visits (three shots). For those under the age of 15, only two shots are needed. This groundbreaking vaccine protects against the following HPV strains:
HPV types 6 and 11 cause approximately 90% of genital warts cases.
These are the two types of HPV that are linked to about 80% of cervical cancer cases.
These five types of HPV are believed to play a role in anal cancer, vulva cancer, penile cancer, cervical cancer, and throat cancer.
The expert team of physicians at Ocean Obstetric & Gynecologic Associates is available to answer any additional questions you have about HPV. To learn more, call or book an appointment online today.