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.
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.
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.
"Follow up is always fast and over 17 years, I have not ever experienced anything but friendliness, compassion, and caring from everyone there."
"Been going here for over 15 years. Never had a bad experience. The doctors have all been compassionate and helpful."
"I really like this place! I came here before I got pregnant and now I keep it as my primary care during my pregnancy. I would recommend The Women's Health Center."
"I went here for my pregnancy and received very good care. Doctors and Nurse Practitioners are highly professional and nice. I would highly recommend this practice."
"The staff was always very kind, friendly and helpful and, best of all, I seldom had to wait very long for my appointments."
"I have been a patient in this office for 5 years and during that time I have had the opportunity to consult with 3 of the doctors--all of them were wonderful."
"Dr. Nguyen is amazing and the hubby and I are so thankful I have her as my OB. I can say that she is extremely genuine and caring and it makes everything better."
"You can trust Dr. Nguyen when you have any concerns or questions during pregnancy. What I love about her is that I didn't feel rushed."
"I was so happy when I found out I was having twins this year cause I knew she was gonna be my doctor! She takes her time with her patients and is so smart and kind."
"Dr. Nguyen herself is very knowledgeable, very very informative, answers all my questions (small and big), so reliable, and had a great personality."
"Dr. Tracy never failed to be honest, discuss risks with us. She is also such a genuine and caring person and doctor."
"I've been following Dr. Tracy for over 14 years. She is an excellent OBGYN who has performed 3 of my C-sections."
"Dr. Tracy is extremely knowledgable and thorough. She is able to answer all my questions. I can definitely trust her with my life. I recommend her."
"I honestly feel that Dr. Tracy is like an old friend--we get to catch up once or twice a year. I feel comfortable talking to her about anything."
"My last pregnancy was amazing with no complications and Dr. Tracy was great!!"
"She is so calm and caring. I loved being able to be 100% myself when I had an appointment with her."