The human papillomavirus, or HPV for its acronym, is the most widespread sexually transmitted disease worldwide. Currently, up to 100 types of HPV are recognized, of which around 40 are exclusively sexually transmitted. Although usually the contagion with this virus will not produce symptoms and the infection will disappear in a maximum period of two years, some types cause the appearance of genital warts while others promote the formation of abnormal cells that can give rise to different kinds of cancer in the man and also in the woman. In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain the symptoms and treatment of human papilloma in men.
Table of Contents
What is HPV?
HPV is a prevalent sexually transmitted disease today. About 40 human papillomavirus types are transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. In most cases, this condition will not present any symptoms, so many people continue to have unprotected sex, promoting the spread of this condition to a more significant number of people.
What are the risks of human papillomavirus in men?
In most cases, the virus will disappear on its own from the body in a period that is generally between 8 months and two years. Despite this, during this period, it is possible to infect anyone with whom unprotected sexual contact is maintained, so it is essential to use condoms and latex boxes for oral sex if you want to avoid both infecting and being infected with this condition, especially if you have multiple sexual partners.
When the condition manifests itself through symptoms, genital warts appear that must be medically treated for their elimination. A small percentage of patients who have contracted this condition may develop various types of cancer depending on the style with which they have been infected.
Although in men, the possibility of developing cancer from the spread of HPV is not very common, being much lower than in the case of women, there is a risk of presenting abnormal changes in the cells that produce:
- Penile cancer is rare, and only a percentage of those affected develop this disease due to HPV.
- Anal cancer is more common in bisexual or homosexual men than heterosexual men.
- Oropharyngeal cancer is usually caused by the spread of HPV type 16 through unprotected oral sex. This virus can alter cells in areas such as the back of the throat, the base of the tongue, or the tonsils, producing this condition. It is essential to clarify that most of these cancers are caused by tobacco and alcohol consumption and not by HPV.
Symptoms of human papilloma in men
As we have explained previously, the human papillomavirus has no symptoms in most cases. If there are signs of infection, they will be based exclusively on the appearance of genital warts that may have the following characteristics:
- The appearance of individual warts or a group of warts.
- They can be shaped like a cauliflower.
- They can be raised or completely flat.
- They can occur around the penis, anus, scrotum, groin, buttocks, or thighs.
How is HPV found in men?
Currently, there is no test to detect HPV in men, and it is not until a conclusive symptom such as genital warts occurs that relevant tests are done to confirm that it is the human papillomavirus.
Specialists do not recommend screening for penile, anal, or oropharyngeal cancer unless symptoms are related to this condition. There are anal Pap tests to detect the presence of irregular cells in this area; they are especially recommended for men with receptor-type anal sexual activity or a suppressed immune system.
If you suspect the presence of any of these cancers, it is recommended to visit a specialist.
Treatment of human papilloma in men
Due to the lack of symptoms and a practical test to rule out the presence of HPV, this condition has no treatment. However, genital warts can be treated topically once the urologist confirms the presence of HPV. The treatment will be individual and under strict medical supervision.
In the case of detecting any of the cancers mentioned above, the treatment will vary depending on the type of cancer and the stage in which it was seen.
How to prevent papilloma and reduce the risks?
Two main approaches can prevent human papillomavirus infection:
Use of condom
Using a condom in all vaginal and anal sexual acts from start to finish is essential to prevent the spread of HPV and any other sexually transmitted disease, including HIV. It is also crucial to protect yourself during oral sex by using latex frames applied to the tongue and reducing the spread of HPV. If you do not find this product in your local pharmacy, you can choose to use a regular condom cut and adjust it to your tongue.
There are 2 HPV vaccines available for men: Gardasil and Gardasil 9. These can be applied to patients from 9 to 26 years of age. Health specialists worldwide recommend vaccination against this condition, which prevents the spread of the most common low-risk HPV types, 6 and 11, which cause the most cases of genital warts, and 16 and 18, which cause most of the cancers associated with this condition. In our article, what you need to know about the HPV vaccine, we clarify all possible doubts.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.