Genital HPV, or genital warts, can be as devastating disease in men as in women. HPV, or the Humanpapillomavirus, can cause unsightly growths on the genitals, leading to many different problems in your social and private life. While it may seem scary, HPV is found in nearly 80% of the world's population.
As of now, there is no cure for genital HPV, meaning that once infected, you are infected for life. That statement isn't meant to scare you, but it is meant to educate you. While incurable, there have also been cases of HPV that have resolved on their own through no treatment what so ever. The medical community remains torn on the issue, with some physicians claiming that HPV clears up on its own over time and others stating that the virus never goes away.
Essentially, HPV is a virus that is passed through skin to skin contact. While it is entirely possible to contract HPV through non sexual contact, the odds are greater that it will be contracted through sexual acts that involve skin to skin contact.
The symptoms of HPV are typically flat, wart like growths on the genitals. These warts are not treatable by over the counter remedies for typical skin warts. Instead, it is recommended to seek a qualified physician to treat genital warts. Over the counter remedies have no effect on genital warts because HPV is a virus. Even after visiting a physician and having genital warts removed, it is possible for the warts to return at a later date.
While it may seem hopeless, having a normal and healthy sex life is possible with HPV. The keys are being open and honest with your partner about HPV and avoiding sexual contact, or using a condom, while having visible symptoms. Be aware though, that even with no symptoms and while using a condom, it is still possible to pass on HPV to your partner.
What To Do
If you think you may have contracted HPV, your best bet is to see a doctor. Many people are embarrassed to even take this first step, but it is the best one you can take. Only a physician can diagnose HPV. There are a variety of different skin conditions that mimic HPV, so there isn't any need to get worried before an official diagnosis.
If officially diagnosed with genital HPV, follow your doctor's instructions, take any medications prescribed, and avoid any activities warned against. One of the biggest activators of HPV is stress. Stress can lead to many unforeseen consequences, even if we don't realize we're stressed. In studies, it has been shown that stress, along with an unhealthy lifestyle, can lead to HPV being aggravated and presenting itself more predominately.
In the end, again, realize that almost 80% of the world's population has HPV. It is a very common virus, yet does not always present itself to the naked eye. In many cases, it has been passed down through birth by an unknowing mother. HPV is not the end of the world and it has been known to resolve itself over time without any medical intervention. The best advice you can follow is to see your doctor if you believe you have genital HPV. Your doctor can inform you as to your diagnosis, as well as treatment options for the future.