HPV (human papillomavirus) if not adequately treated, can cause genital warts and cervical cancer. The following are useful tips that can help you prevent or detect it at an early stage.
HPV is a virus, that is transmitted sexually from one person to another in more than 150 in 40 of them. These HPV sexually transmitted infections commonly affect both male and female. This infection is becoming relatively common as more than 79 million Americans are already infected with it, and there are 14 million new cases recorded each year.
In most cases, HPV disappears on its own, but the ones that tend to cause genital warts and cancer usually cause a change in the structure of the cell. One needs to protect himself from HPV, and the following 8 tips will help protect yourself against it.
There is an available vaccine for HPV called Gardasil, and it protects you from the types of HPV which are known to cause cervical cancer and anal, penile-vaginal, vulvar and oropharyngeal cancers (cancer of the soft base of the tongue and tonsils) caused by HPV. Most genital warts can also be prevented by Gardasil.
The best and surest way of preventing the transmission of HPV is abstaining from any sexual intercourse ranging from oral, vaginal and anal. If you are not in a committed relationship or you are in a relationship but do not feel right about having sex, or you have other reasons that make sex not feel right, you should abstain.
For some adults, total abstinence does not sound like a desirable or realistic option. If you are in this class, you should try the other effective ways of protecting yourself and your partner from this virus as listed here.
Those who start having sex at an early stage have a higher risk of getting infected with HPV. The earlier you are sexually active, the higher your risk of getting HPV if you have an exposure to the virus through sexual intercourse. HPV is most prevalent in those between the ages of 15 - 25 years. There is no means of knowing that a prospective partner who is experienced sexually has HPV.
For those who want to start having sex at a young age, you must protect yourself adequately by first getting vaccinated. You will only need 2 or 3 doses for over 6 - 12 months. You can also further protect yourself with the use of condoms from the beginning to the end of every sexual indulgence.
If it is possible, we advise you and your partner to be entirely honest with each other about your sexual history. You should always remember that anyone can carry this virus, and you only need one infected partner to transmit the virus to you.
Limiting the number of sexual partners is another step in the prevention of HPV. This is because an increase in your sexual partners can increase ones possible exposure to HPV. In most cases, having even one sexual partner who is infected with HPV is a sure way of you getting infected, and this risk gets even higher when you have more than one partner.
According to some studies, spending about 8 months or more with a new partner before getting into any sexual activity can reduce your risk of getting infected with HPV. This risk gets lowered because of the delay in time, is enough for the HPV infection in an infected partner to clear.
Condoms can, according to research, lower the risk of HPV infection, so those who are sexually active can use this to protect themselves. Condoms should be used from the beginning of any sexual act to the end; even oral and anal sex inclusive as HPV can be transmitted when a person has direct contact with the skin of an infected person.
When HPV affects the areas which the condom used does not cover, the person can still be infected. This means that condoms are not completely protective against contracting HPV, but they help prevent it.
It is important to note that you should AVOID reusing a condom for any reason.
Studies that men who are circumcised have a lesser chance of getting infected than those who are not, and they have a lower chance of getting their female sexual partners infected.
Study shows that almost half of a sample of 1,502 American men had a positive result for HPV from a test on penile swap and the men who are circumcised had their risks lowered twice for high-risk HPV infections which cause cancer.
As circumcision cannot entirely give a guarantee to protect the men from HPV, we advise parents to ensure still that their sons are vaccinated against HPV whether they are circumcised or not, and men whether sexually active or not should take adequate preventive measures for the prevention of HPV.
HPV Vaccine is also approved for men, even those who have attained the age of 45. This means that more men now have a chance to get their sexual health protected.
There are indeed no special diets for the prevention of HPV infection or the cancers linked to the virus, but it has been proven that consistently having a healthy diet based on plants rich in vitamins and minerals can strengthen your immune system and protect you from developing some common cancers.
If you want to follow a healthy diet, you must go for meals with a low amount of sugar and saturated fats - fresh fruits and vegetables. Having a regular bodily exercise, avoiding excessive drinking and not smoking is a sure way to keep your body in a good state. They help the immune system become stronger and more effective in the fight against any forms of infection.
The HPV infection often leads to cervical dysplasia or improper changes in the cervical cells for some women. Cervical cancer can quickly develop from cervical dysplasia, but adequate treatment can help prevent this occurrence.
The following are two tests which are used to screen the presence of HPV infection in the cervix:
Women between the ages of 21 – 29 years are advised to get a Pap test done in every 3 years even when they do not have an HPV test. This is because HPV is common for people within this age range. The HPV test is recommended for people whose Pap test results are abnormal.
For women within the ages of 30 – 65 years, it is advised that a pap test and an HPV test should be done at least once in every 5 years or a Pap test done alone in every 3 years.
You can visit private health care clinic in London for more information on the early detection and prevention of HPV. We are always available.
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