Table of contents:
- Main symptoms of HPV in men
- What to do in case of suspicion
- How to get HPV
- How the treatment is done
- Possible complications
HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that, in men, can cause the appearance of warts on the penis, scrotum or anus.
However, the absence of warts does not mean that men do not have HPV, as these warts are often microscopic in size and cannot be seen with the naked eye. In addition, there are also several cases in which HPV does not cause any symptoms, although it is present.
Since HPV is an infection that may not have any symptoms, but is still contagious, it is recommended to use a condom in all relationships to avoid transmitting the virus to other people.
Main symptoms of HPV in men
Most men with HPV do not have any symptoms, however, when they do appear, the most common symptom is the appearance of warts in the genital area:
These warts are usually a sign of infection with the milder types of HPV.
However, there are more aggressive types of HPV that, although they do not lead to the appearance of warts, increase the risk of genital cancer. For this reason, even if there are no symptoms, it is important to make regular consultations with the urologist to rule out any type of sexually transmitted infection, especially after having unprotected sexual intercourse.
In addition to the genital area, warts can also appear in the mouth, throat and anywhere else on the body that has come into contact with the HPV virus.
What to do in case of suspicion
When HPV infection is suspected, it is important to consult a urologist for a peniscopy, which is a type of exam in which the doctor observes the genital region with a kind of magnifying glass that allows for microscopic lesions to be observed. Understand better what peniscopy is and what it is for.
Furthermore, it is very important to use a condom in any sexual relationship to avoid transmitting HPV to the partner.
How to get HPV
The main way to get HPV is through unprotected sex with another infected person, even if that person does not have any type of wart or skin lesion. Thus, HPV can be transmitted through vaginal, anal or oral sex.
The best ways to prevent HPV infection are to use condoms in all sexual relations and get the HPV vaccination, which can be done free of charge in SUS for all boys between 9 and 14 years old. Learn more about the HPV vaccine and when to take it.
How the treatment is done
There is no treatment capable of eliminating the HPV virus and, therefore, the cure of the infection only happens when the body itself is able to eliminate the virus naturally.
However, if the infection causes the appearance of warts, the doctor may recommend some treatments, such as the application of ointments or cryotherapy. Still, these forms of treatments only improve the aesthetics of the site and do not guarantee healing, which means that warts can reappear. Check out the treatment techniques for genital warts.
In addition to treatment, men who know they have an HPV infection should avoid having unprotected sex, so as not to transmit the virus to their partner.
Complications of HPV infection in men are very rare, however, if the infection happens one by one of the more aggressive types of the HPV virus, there is an increased risk of developing cancer in the genital area, especially in the anus.
The main complications by HPV seem to happen in women, namely cervical cancer. Therefore, it is very important to use a condom in all relationships, to avoid transmission to the partner.