HPV is a common family of viruses that can play a role in cervical and penile cancers, as well as genital warts. As a top-ranked New York City gynecologist, Dr. Goltyapina performs in-depth testing and care to identify and treat HPV infections in women throughout the Financial District and beyond.

What is HPV?

HPV is an abbreviation for the human papillomavirus, a large family of more than 80 viruses that are spread commonly via sexual contact. HPV is the most common STD in the U.S., and almost every sexual person comes in contact with the virus at some point.

In most cases, the body is able to clear itself of the virus. But sometimes, certain types of HPV may result in the development of genital warts or increase a person’s risk of developing cervical cancer or, in men, penile cancer. HPV infections may also cause sores to develop in the anus, mouth, or throat.

How is HPV diagnosed?

The human papillomavirus is typically diagnosed during a routine pelvic exam using a technique similar to the technique used in a Pap test. A small sample of cells is removed from the walls of the vagina and the cervix and evaluated under a microscope to look for the virus.

Sometimes, an HPV infection is diagnosed after Pap test yields abnormal results. (HPV infection is a leading cause of abnormal Pap test results.) A diagnostic exam called a colposcopy uses a special solution and a magnifying lens to highlight and view abnormal areas of the vaginal canal and cervix so small tissue samples can be taken for additional evaluation.

How is HPV treated?

Several methods may be used to treat HPV depending on the way the disease manifests. Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a popular approach for the precise removal of warts using an electrified loop of wire. Other patients may benefit from cryosurgery, which uses super-cold temperatures to “freeze off” warts. Laser treatment may be used to remove warts, as well as other areas of abnormal tissue that may be related to an increased risk of cancer. In some cases, prescription medication may be used to control or prevent outbreaks.

Is HPV-related to HIV or herpes?

No, the three STDs are not related to each other.

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