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Human papillomavirus in women: types, symptoms and treatment

What it is?

Human papillomavirus (HPV, Human papillomavirus) is now detected in at least one third of women. It is a DNA virus that provokes uncontrolled cell division. Infection can lead to unsightly outgrowths on the skin — papillomas, warts and condylomas.

Usually, people become infected with the virus at a young age, at the peak of their sexual activity, and subsequently reap the benefits of their not always deliberate actions. After all, infection of women with human papillomavirus 16 and 18 is fraught with the development of cancer. But do not panic, HPV type 18 in women is not a sentence, treatment exists, how to live and what to do with the virus, we will look at in more detail below, because not everything is unique and the universal “pill” does not exist yet.

In addition, in recent years a number of studies have been conducted, the results of which suggest that an increase in the incidence of laryngeal and respiratory papillomatosis in children may be due to their infection with HPV during birth naturally from an infected mother.

HPV 16, 18 in women what is it? - These are types of human papillomavirus, abbreviated HPV. There are a lot of virus types and for convenience they were simply numbered, because not all of them are dangerous for humans. 16 and 18 type belong to the most dangerous, for details, see the special section below.


Causes of HPV in women

HPV what is it? The causes of papillomatosis are quite commonplace. The main ways of transmission of HPV is contact-household and sexual. Although it is also possible to become infected during the passage of various medical studies, if the rules of antiseptics were not followed.

Thus, it is possible to pick up a dangerous virus, even without leading a promiscuous sex life, but only by visiting a public place, as it can enter the body even through tiny cracks on the skin that are invisible to the naked eye, but are present in all.

Fortunately, in most cases, the immune system immediately copes with viruses that have entered the body, so more often the disease develops in people with a weakened immune system.

Even if an HPV infection has occurred, signs of this do not appear immediately. As long as a woman is healthy and her immune system is working properly, she may not even be aware of the presence of infection. The causes of the symptoms of human papillomavirus in women are as follows:

  • hypothermia;
  • transfer of various diseases, mainly viral, for example, ARVI;
  • hormonal disorders, including pregnancy;
  • installation of intrauterine device;
  • abortion;
  • immunosuppressive (immunosuppressive) therapy, etc.

Symptoms of the human papillomavirus in women

Symptoms of the human papillomavirus in women

As a rule, the first signs of pathology appear 3-4 months after infection. Infection with HPV is manifested by the occurrence of so-called papillomas.

Most often they are located on areas of the body with thin, sensitive skin, for example, on the face, eyes, mucous membranes of the mouth and nose, in the armpits, neck, perineum, genitals, less often on the back. These neoplasms are usually outgrowths on a small stem of initially small size, but with further weakening of immunity and non-interference, they begin to grow and spread, and over time can merge into large conglomerates.

Papillomas can be both single and multiple, as well as have different sizes. Often the color of tumors does not differ from the tone of healthy skin, although the formation of outgrowths of darker or lighter shades is possible.

If the papillomas are located in the genital area and are sharply shaped, they are called genital warts . As a rule, condylomas are not only on the skin of the perineum, but also on:

  • the inner walls of the vagina;
  • the urethral throat;
  • vulva;
  • perianal area;
  • cervix.

If the disease affects the genitals and urethra, there may be such signs of papillomavirus, such as:

  • itching;
  • pain when urinating;
  • discomfort during intercourse;
  • slight bleeding during or after intercourse.

In addition to genital warts, can be formed and:

  • papillary varieties;
  • Giant condyloma Bushke-Levenstein;
  • intraepithelial;
  • flat.

Diagnosis of papillomavirus in women

Modern scientists have managed to isolate 27 species from 5 genera and more than 170 types of HPV, but only a few of them can cause diseases of the urogenital tract.

Different types of virus according to the degree of oncogenic risk. So, isolated (by type):

  1. Low risk - HPV 3, 6, 11, 13, 32, 34, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 51, 61, 72, 73;
  2. Medium risk - HPV 30, 35, 45, 52, 53, 56, 58;
  3. High risk - HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 39, 50, 59, 64, 68, 70.

In the early stages, it is not easy to diagnose papillomatosis visually, since the neoplasms are only small roughness with a point expansion of the vessels. The characteristic capillary network on them is formed much later.

If there are traces of a human papillomavirus infection in women in the cervix, colposcopy is performed. The essence of the method consists in the study of tissues with the help of a special apparatus capable of giving a multiple increase. For diagnostic purposes, a gynecologist can perform painless tests with ethanoic acid and with Lugol's solution.

One of the main methods for the diagnosis of human papillomavirus in women is a cytological examination of smears. Indicates the presence of HPV, the presence of specific cells in the material taken - coilocytes. Also, this analysis allows detecting just starting cervical cancer, when there are no visual changes in the tissues yet.

The most advanced method of detecting HPV is Digene-test. It is based on complex biochemical reactions, so that the test is very sensitive. The material for the study may be scraping epithelial cells or a sample obtained by biopsy.

Other methods, such as PCR, are rarely used, mostly only in the asymptomatic form of the pathology and to determine the type of virus.

Since infection with HPV occurs mainly during sexual intercourse, women who have been diagnosed with it are advised to undergo a full examination and test for other STDs.

Treatment of human papillomavirus in women

Treatment of human papillomavirus in women

If any neoplasm is found, it is necessary to immediately consult a doctor to find out their nature and origin. Women who have HPV, especially type 16 or 18, must be treated to prevent cancer.

Although it should immediately be noted that completely cure the papilloma virus is not yet possible. Therefore, the main objectives of therapy is to remove papillomas and strengthen the immune system - to drive the virus into a “sleeping” state, to stop the development in the body and the emergence of new papillomas ..

With the implementation of the second task, everything is relatively clear. In order to strengthen the immunity in the treatment of HPV, patients are mainly prescribed vitamins and immunostimulants. Most often this is due to the fact that people are easier to drink ready-made pills than to strengthen the immune system in other ways. The full recommended list looks like this:

  • vitamins;
  • immunostimulants;
  • healthy eating;
  • active lifestyle;
  • regular walks;
  • hardening, etc.

In this case, women are recommended to take antiviral drugs to suppress the activity of HPV. As for the removal of existing neoplasms, this can be done by various methods, depending on the capabilities of the patient, clinic, and diagnostic indications.

Methods for removing papillomas

1. Laser therapy. This method is one of the most effective and safe. Papilloma is removed under local anesthesia for 1 procedure without bleeding, since the small vessels are immediately “sealed”. When properly carried out after manipulation, a crust remains at the site of growth, after which there is almost no trace on the skin. Can be used to treat human papillomavirus in pregnant women.

2. Radio wave therapy . The method appeared in the arsenal of dermatologists much later than the others and is considered one of the safest and most promising. Its essence consists in cutting off neoplasms with a special radio-wave knife. After the manipulation on the skin there are no visible traces.

3. Surgical intervention. The method is considered the most affordable, but its use is fraught with the formation of scars on the skin. Removal of papilloma is carried out manually by a surgeon with a scalpel after pre-anesthetizing the area around it. Nevertheless, it is the surgical intervention or radio wave therapy that is preferable to choose if there are suspicions of malignancy (the formation of cancer cells) of the neoplasm, since their use does not destroy the pathological tissues and can be sent for histological examination.

4. Electrocoagulation. The method involves the removal of tumors due to thermal effects of electric current under local anesthesia. After the procedure, a crust remains in place of the papilloma, and after it disappears, a slight scar may remain on the skin.

5. Removal by chemical means. This method is one of the oldest. It is based on the destruction of neoplasm tissues by aggressive compounds. They are applied to the growth for a certain time several times. The frequency of use and the duration of the application depends on which drug is selected and the papilloma size. As a rule, podophyllin, 5-fluorouracil, podophyllotoxin, trichloroacetic acid, Solcoderm are used.

6. Cryotherapy. The essence of the method consists in the destruction of tumors with liquid nitrogen, and if almost all other methods require local anesthesia, then this is absolutely painless. But to remove some papillomas may require more than 1 procedure.

Thus, how to treat human papillomavirus in women depends on the size and number of neoplasms, the state of the patient's immunity, the presence of certain diseases or pregnancy in her.

However, some types of neoplasms may disappear on their own, so it’s worth starting to choose the method of papillomas removal only after consulting a doctor. But you shouldn’t hope for a spontaneous recovery especially, as it is possible only with an ideal state of the immune system, which few can boast today.

HPV during pregnancy, what to do?

Special attention should be paid to the treatment of HPV in pregnant women, since if they have or have genital warts on the background of pregnancy, there is a high risk of contracting HPV to the child during childbirth.

In such cases, it is usually recommended after 28 weeks to take drugs that strengthen the immune system and suppress viral activity, and try to remove the neoplasms with a laser or cryodestruction method. Also, in order to prevent infection of the fetus during childbirth, delivery by caesarean section can be recommended for pregnant women.

Since it is still not possible to completely cure HPV, with a decrease in immunity, a relapse of the disease can occur and the symptoms of human papillomavirus in women will reappear. To prevent this from happening, women are recommended to maintain an active lifestyle, eat right, avoid stress, regularly visit a gynecologist and get tested for HPV levels in the blood.

Treatment of HPV folk remedies

Many people try to cope on their own with the growths of folk remedies on the skin. This may be unsafe, since a large number of viral particles are concentrated in the papillomas, therefore, if not properly removed, there is a high risk of more tumors. In addition, damage to papillomas can provoke uncontrolled cell proliferation and cause cancer.

Among all folk remedies for the treatment of papillomavirus in women, we recommend using only those that strengthen the immune system and fight the disease from the inside. It:

  • In equal proportions take valerian root, lemon balm and oregano grass, hop cones, coriander fruits, linden flowers, mixed and crushed. 30 g of the mixture obtained in the morning is poured into a thermos 0.5 liters of hot water. After 4 hours, the remedy begins to be taken in small sips, it must be completely drunk during the day. The course of treatment is 10 days, it is repeated a week later.
  • In equal proportions take the hips, plantain leaves, nettle, dandelion root and lemon grass, mixed and crushed. 80 g of the mixture poured into a saucepan and pour 1 liter of boiling water. The broth is cooked on low heat for 15 minutes. After 4 hours, it is ready to eat. The tool is taken warm in a glass before meals 4 times a day. The course of treatment is 7 days, after 10 days it is repeated.

A popular remedy in the people, celandine, should be used with great care, and it is better to abandon it at all in favor of hardware methods for removing papillomas, because if it accidentally falls on healthy skin, severe burns can occur.

Human papillomavirus in women 16 and 18 type

The greatest danger to women's health and life is HPV 16 and 18 types. In addition to causing genital warts, they can provoke dysplasia and cervical cancer. Namely, it becomes the cause of death of hundreds of thousands of women.

At the same time, human papillomavirus 31 type in women is also often the cause of the development of dysplasia, and with non-intervention and cervical cancer, although it is among the viruses with moderate oncogenic activity. Therefore, when detecting any type of HPV, it is imperative to consult a gynecologist and undergo a prescribed course of treatment.

But do not panic when HPV is detected. Its presence in the body, even the notorious 16 and 18 types, is not a guarantee of the rapid development of cancer. From the moment of infection to the onset of oncology, it may take 10 or 20 years, and promptly initiated full-fledged treatment and control of the HPV level further reduces this risk to a minimum.

Since doctors understand the danger of the human papillomavirus in women of these types, a vaccine was invented to protect against them. But to this day, its effectiveness is debated.

Thus, HPV is a fairly dangerous virus that can cause cancer. But with the timely intervention of its activity can be suppressed and prevent the occurrence of such unfortunate consequences.


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