HPV (human papilloma virus) treatment – infection and lesions in cervix and vagina
I tested positive for HPV. What should I do? Is there a treatment? Should I seek if there is one?
According to medical literature, many women, even majority of us, carry HPV at least one point in our life as long as we have sex. So, what does it mean if I am told that I carry HPV? What will happen to me?
The good news is that in most cases the virus is cleared by the body’s own defence mechanisms within two years.
Since the chance of being infected with HPV is very high and most women do not require treatment, doctors do not routinely give a test for HPV.
However, some people do not manage to clear the virus and a fraction of these women end up with wounded tissues called ‘lesions’. One research shows that the chance of this is one in ten women with HPV. A lesion can take 8-10 years to develop after the initial infection.
Once present, lesions can exist for years without causing any real harm. However, for some very unlucky people with lesions, 1 in 50 according to one study, the lesions grow into cancer. There are a number of different types of HPV among the HPV family and certain types that cause more likely than others. Low risk HPV can cause warts which almost never cause cancer, while lesions formed by high risk HPV infections have a higher (although small) risk of causing cancer.
This is why women are recommended to have smear tests regularly. The smear is tested for HPV, and if it shows that the woman has been infected with HPV, the doctor will check for any abnormalities in the cells of the smear. If there are abnormal cells, the woman will be invited for the doctor to assess for lesions on the cervix. If any are found, they will be removed surgically. If no abnormal cells are detected, then typically the woman will be asked to return in a year’s time to check if the infection has been cleared. This is known as the ‘wait and see’ period.
Once a woman who has tested positive for high risk HPV with lesions has been treated surgically, her doctor will ask her to have regular check ups to see whether the infection persists and whether the lesion recurs or not.
This is a stressful period for women with infections. One research showed that women in the ‘wait and see’ period are tormented with a number of questions such as:
- How have I caught HPV?
- Why do I have a sexually transmitted disease?
- How can I get rid of the virus?
- Do I have a cancer?
- Should I tell my partner? Can I infect him?
Most specialist doctors (colposcopists) are concerned with the stress that the women experience since stress may alter immune response and can also change the bacterial flora of women’s tissues, which have protective effects against harmful viruses and bacteria. In short, stress may be counterproductive in the body’s effort to clear the virus.
There are effective vaccines for HPV and students between the ages of 11 and 13 are getting vaccinated in many countries. You can also get this vaccine if you have not already been infected with HPV. However, these vaccines do not work for women who already have HPV.
So if I have HPV, is there anything I can do to help my immune system clear the virus? Is there an effective treatment? How can I cope with the stress of just having to ‘wait and see’?
Currently, there is no medicine that eradicates the virus. However, there is a product called Papilocare that has some evidence to show that it helps the woman’s body to fight infection and recover from lesions.
For example, patients with high risk HPV and lesions were given Papilocare for 6 months. The tissue was normalised among 88% of the patients, compared to 56% for the control group without Papilocare. HPV clearance among high-risk HPV patients after 6 months of Papilocare use was 63% for the user group vs 40% for the non user group, although statistical significant yet to be achieved due to small number of patients studied. There are additional independent medical studies that showed similar positive results for Papliocare use, although they are not compared to non-users.
Papilocare is made exclusively with natural ingredients. The main ingredients and their intended effects are:
- Bioecolia: modulate the microbiota; natural bacterial flora is known to play an important role in keep harmful virus and bacteria away
- Coriolus versicolor: stimulates immune response; this is a mushroom used in Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Neem (azadirachta indica): repairs tissues
- Aloe vera: repairs tissues
The product has been available in Europe since 2016 and over 40,000 women in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal have used it. A number of studies have been done in Spain and Italy and their results have been published and discussed at gynaecology conferences. There has not been any report of serious adverse effects.
If you are interested to learn more about Papilocare, go to livbio.co.uk/product/papilocare/
The important thing is not to be overwhelmed by the news of bad smear and HPV test results. First and foremost, follow your doctor’s guidance and take recommended tests regularly. During the ‘wait and see’ period, stay positive and take care so that your immune system remains strong.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. For medical advice, diagnosis and prescription, please consult a healthcare professional.