Several methods are available for human papilloma virus (HPV) treatment, including freezing the resulting genital warts, a surgical procedure that removes cells at the end of the cervix, and other minor surgeries. In some cases, medication can be used to treat external warts caused by the HPV virus. There is no cure for HPV.
One human papilloma virus treatment involves cryosurgery, or freezing the warts that appear in people who carry the virus. A doctor uses a carbon dioxide-cooled device called a cryoprobe to kill the tissue of abnormal cells in the vaginal and penile areas. The procedure is done in a doctor's office without anesthesia. If genital warts are numerous, they may removed with a surgical knife. Once the genital warts have been frozen, they cannot be tested for abnormal cells, which is a disadvantage to this type of treatment.
Another common human papilloma virus treatment involves loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP) of suspicious cells. LEEP surgery uses a thin, electrified wire loop to remove abnormal tissue from the cervix that could develop into cervical cancer if left untreated. A physician uses an iodine solution to make the cells appear more prominent, and numbs the cervix with an injection. The surgery is normally done in a doctor's office or clinic on an outpatient basis.
Chemicals applied topically provide another option for human papilloma virus treatment. Some of these creams can be applied by the patient in the privacy of his or her home to kill genital warts over time. Chemical treatments applied in the doctor's office may cause burning of the tissue surrounding the warts, and often has to be repeated. Some of these chemicals cannot be used on pregnant women.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease affecting both men and woman. It can produce warts in the genital area or mouth. Warts can appear weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected person even if the partner has no visible signs of genital warts. In most cases, the body's immune system fights the infection and human papillomavirus treatment is not required.
Of the 40 different types of HPV infection, some may cause cervical or other types of cancer. There is no test to determine who will develop cancer from the virus. Cervical cancer normally does not produce symptoms until it is quite advanced, but early screening through annual pap smears can usually detect abnormal cells before they mutate into cancerous cells. When abnormal cells are discovered, a doctor can use one of the various human papilloma virus treatment options available.