The doctors at The Women’s Health Center in Fountain Valley, California provide treatment and vaccinations for HPV (human papillomavirus). Women from throughout Orange County and the Greater Los Angeles area can make appointments for vaccination, diagnosis, and treatment.
or Call 714-378-5606
HPV Q & A
What is HPV?
HPV is the Human Papillomavirus, which is a group of approximately 150 similar viral types, each differentiated with a number. HPV infections can be managed, however, there is no cure to completely rid the body of the infection. HPV is the most common of sexually transmitted infections. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 70% of the population of the United States carries one strain of the virus, but only a few strains cause worrisome problems. HPV is highly contagious and is transmitted even when the infected person has no signs or symptoms. Also, if a person contracts HPV, symptoms can sometimes take years to present. HPV also has links to cervical cancer.
If I Contract HPV, Does That Mean I Will Definitely Develop Cervical Cancer?
Most strains of HPV do not cause cancer. For example, the virus that is responsible for genital warts does not cause cancer. However, while cervical cancer is most commonly linked to HPV, the virus also can lead cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, or the back of the throat including the tongue and tonsils. It can take years, even decades for cancer to develop after HPV is contracted and many people with HPV never develop cancer.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself?
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from HPV is to get vaccinated. The doctors at The Women’s Health Center provide vaccinations including Gardasil and Cervarix to girls and young women. Girls and boys should be vaccinated around the age of 11 or 12 and people up to the age of 26 can catch up with the vaccinations. If you are not vaccinated and are sexually active, you can protect yourself by practicing safe sex, using condoms, and being monogamous. It is important to have regular pap smears and STD screenings if you are sexually active. Many sexually transmitted diseases do not present symptoms in their early stages and catching and treating a disease early on is much easier and often more effective than treating more advanced stages.