Although human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD), it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Part of the reason for this is that there are many different types of HPV, and many of them don’t cause any symptoms.
However, whether you’re aware you have it or not, you can pass HPV to a sexual partner.
Experienced and caring OB/GYN Dr. Daniel Kushner provides a full range of gynecological services at his medical offices in White Plains and Queens, New York. He understands that STDs can be disconcerting, and he provides the diagnostic testing, information, and treatments that allow you to take charge of your sexual health.
What is HPV?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that spreads through skin-to-skin contact. There are estimated to be more than 100 different types of HPV.
Some of the types can cause genital warts and cancers, including cervical cancer. Many types of HPV don’t cause any symptoms, so people may not know they have it — but they can still spread it to sexual partners.
What are genital warts?
Genital warts are growths that in women can appear on your vagina, anus, or cervix. They’re often described as looking like clustered bumps in the shape of a cauliflower. The warts typically appear within a few weeks or possibly months after your exposure to a wart-causing type of HPV.
The warts can cause persistent pain and itching. It’s recommended that you don’t have any sexual contact when warts are present, as you’re at increased risk of transmitting HPV to partners during this time.
When you have genital warts, you doctor examines the affected area and may take a sample of tissue to determine if your warts are caused by HPV and if you need treatment for them.
How electrocautery can help treat HPV
Electrocautery is a surgical procedure that removes abnormal tissue growth, like the type found in genital warts. It’s typically recommended for warts that cover a small area.
During the procedure, Dr. Kushner numbs the treatment area using a local anesthetic to minimize your discomfort. He then uses a small probe to apply electrical current to the warts, burning away the tissue.
After the treatment, you can expect some pain, swelling, and tenderness at the treatment site. A few weeks following the procedure, these symptoms go away and your skin heals.
Although electrocautery removes the warts, you likely still have an HPV infection and should take proper care, using barriers during sexual contact to avoid spreading it to a sexual partner.
If you need treatment for HPV, or to get help with any other gynecological concerns, call our White Plains or Queens office to set up an appointment, or use our online booking system.