Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"If you get HPV will you have it for the rest of your life?"
I'm afraid that I will get HPV because I am sexually active. If you get it do you have it for the rest of your life? What can I do to avoid it other than not have sex?
HPV (also known as the human papilloma virus) is a virus that is usually passed sexually and can potentially cause some serious problems. The most devastating issue that HPV is associated with is cervical cancer. HPV is also the cause of genital warts. To prevent HPV from causing cervical cancer, women should undergo pap smears with their primary care physician or gynecologist yearly or every other year depending on the circumstances. The pap smear has been shown to prevent cervical cancer by catching it early enough that it can be removed. Many women that get HPV end up clearing it (getting rid of it) on their own. Others can't get rid of it on their own, but end up getting cured by removal of HPV infected tissue after an abnormal pap smear. Those women that don't get regular checkups may end up having it for life and are at higher risk of getting cervical cancer. There are two ways for you to prevent HPV transmission. The first is to always use a condom when having sex. The second is to consider getting the HPV vaccine that can help your body fight off the virus if you were to be exposed. The best physician for you to speak to about this is your primary care physician or gynecologist, whoever you prefer to see for your feminine health. Good luck.
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