By: Hannah Larsen
HPV infections occur when the virus enters your body. The virus usually enters through openings such as cuts, scrapes and other openings in your body. It is transferred through skin to skin contact. It is mostly spread through sexual intercourse. Although it's more rare, HPV can be given to a child if the mother has it.
HPV comes with many symptoms such as Genital warts which can be raised, flattened, pink, or flesh colored. There can be multiple warts or just one, and the warts can be small or large, and appear on genital areas. The type of warts include common warts, genital warts, and plantar warts. If you get cervical cancer because of HPV, the symptoms do not usually show until the cancer is more advanced. The symptoms of cervical cancer are, irregular bleeding between menstrual cycles, or bleeding after sexual intercourse, fatigue, loss of appetite, leg, back, or pelvic pain, a single swollen leg, and/of vaginal discomfort or discharge that has an odor.
There are a couple vaccines for HPV including Gardasil and Cervarix. Gardasil is safe for both women and men between the ages 9-25. Cervarix is for females only and can be used from ages 10-25. Although these vaccines can help, no vaccines are 100% effective and the only was to completely prevent HPV is to not participate in sexual intercourse. The vaccines do not permanently cure you, but can be effective for up to 5 years. The vaccines are usually given to kids 10 to 12 because they haven’t been exposed to the virus. Although the virus can cure itself alone, it can also lead to cervical, anal, or throat cancer if it is not treated.