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Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is very common and can cause an infection in the cells of the cervix, vagina and genital area. It infects more than 4 million men and women in the UK every year. Fortunately in most people (90%), the infection is naturally cleared by the body’s own defense system.


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More Information on HPV

HPV is highly contagious and can be passed on from person to person through skin to skin contact, including sexual contact. Approximately 90% of sexually active women develop the HPV infection at some stage of their life. But for most women, HPV exposure during late teens and early twenties is most common. Most women do not experience any signs of symptoms with HPV, and only discover they have HPV with an abnormal smear result. Not knowing they have HPV can mean women can transmit HPV without knowing they have it.

In the women where HPV does not clear by itself, over time it can develop into different diseases which affects the genitals. These diseases include pre-cancerous lesions in the cervix, cervical cancer and genital warts. They can be internal or external.

There are about 130 different types of HPV and 30-40 of these types are transmitted through sexual contact. There is a cervical cancer vaccine available in the UK that we give at 132 Harley Street to females aged 16 and above. (Please refer to cervical cancer vaccine). This vaccine prevents against HPV types 6, 11 16 and 18. HPV types 16 and 18 cause about 70% of HPV related cervical cancer cases. HPV types 6 and 11 cause about 90% of genital wart cases.