You’ve just found a new, fleshy growth around your genitals… could this be HPV?
Certain strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can cause lesions or warts in the genital area. These growths can be alarming. You may be wondering – what are these growths? Am I going to have them forever? How can I make them go away?
We know it can be a scary experience and it’s difficult to know exactly what to do. Rest assured we are here to provide all the necessary information as well as measures you can take to relieve your symptoms. We are also here to reassure you that the condition is harmless and will likely go away with time.
First, it is important to understand whether you have genital warts or something else.
What are Genital Warts?
Genital warts typically occur on the genital areas anywhere from a few weeks to 2-3 months after contracting an HPV infection.
Genital warts tend to be soft, fleshy, cauliflower-like growths that can grow in areas including the vulva, vagina, anus, scrotum, and penis. The warts can be itchy, annoying, and persistent, but are rarely painful.
Genital warts are often skin-colored or appear as white bumps. They may grow as a single wart or in a bunch.
How are they Transmitted?
Genital warts are easily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, commonly through sexual interactions. This includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex, as well as hand contact. It can take several weeks, months, or even years for genital warts to appear once you’ve been infected.
You may never show symptoms. Even without symptoms like visible warts, you can transmit HPV to your sexual partner.
Though rare, genital warts can also be passed during childbirth as a child passes through the mother’s birth canal.
How do I get checked?
If you suspect you might have warts around your genitals or anus, seek advice from a medical professional, nurse or a medical doctor. Other STIs such as herpes or syphilis can also present similarly to genital warts and may need to be treated. What you’re seeing could also just be a mole, ingrown hair, hemorrhoid, or skin tag, all of which are relatively harmless.
Generally, if the symptom is new and you are concerned, we recommend getting a professional opinion.
Are you ready to respond to HPV?
How is HPV Related?
All warts, including genital warts, are caused by strains of the HPV family. Warts found on your genitals are caused by a different strain than the ones on other parts of your body, like your hands or feet.
HPV is one of the most common viruses that affect humans. HPV is considered the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. HPV affects millions of men and women every year. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that almost every sexually active adult will get HPV at some point in their lifetime.
However, HPV is also responsible for other non-sexually transmitted infections like plantar and common warts. Warts that cause infection on your hands and feet do not cause infection on the genitals.
High and low-risk HPV strains
Out of the numerous strains of HPV, we have identified those that are high-risk and low-risk to our health. High-risk strains can cause cervical, oral, and anal cancer.
The strains that cause genital and other warts are considered low-risk HPV strains and are very unlikely to cause cancer. These low-risk strains that cause genital warts will often be eliminated by the immune system within a few weeks to months with no significant complications.
Can I still catch other strains of HPV?
It is possible to be infected by multiple strains of HPV. Having warts from a low-risk strain of HPV does not mean you are not at risk of contracting more high-risk HPV strains that can cause cancer. For this reason, we recommend following your physician’s Pap screening recommendations and being tested regularly.
What Can I do Naturally?
Most HPV infections and related complications, like genital warts, can be cleared by a strong, healthy immune system. Your immune system can be optimally supported in a number of natural ways:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables: A healthy diet provides the foundation to the immune system. Food promotes gut health, supply’s the body with antioxidants, amino acids, and other compounds that form immune molecules. Conversely, a poor diet can cause inflammation and take energy away from the immune system and impair its function.
- Quit smoking: Several studies have found a link between cigarette smoke and increased risk for HPV infections, including genital warts. Quitting smoking is the first step to supporting our overall health.
- Reduce alcohol consumption: Alcohol can impair bodily processes, especially the liver and detoxification pathways. Cut down to 1-2 servings once or twice a week to promote health.
- Drink or supplement green tea: the powerful antioxidants found in green tea extract have been found to reduce HPV persistence, as well as genital warts.
- Get in regular movement and exercise: exercise and movement help promote circulation and support the immune system. We recommend at least 20-30 minutes of light aerobic walking or cycling each day and 2-3 sessions of resistance training.
Papillex, is a clinically-researched, nutrient-rich supplement designed to increase your body’s ability to respond to HPV naturally.
By optimizing your natural immunity and replacing missing and low nutrients, Papillex helps you to create an environment inhospitable to HPV and its common symptoms including cervical dysplasia and genital warts.