Human Papilloma Virus
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects many women. Your immune system is usually able to fight off the virus without the need for medication, vitamins A, E and folate can be used to enhance the immune system and rid HPV. While some types of Human Papilloma Virus cause genital warts, others may cause no symptoms at all and can be undetected by a pap smear. A pap smear is able to suggest abnormalities which may be due to HPV or abnormal cells. To identify the exact cause, doctor Lerm will do a colposcopy. Because the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes abnormal cell changes, it has been found that certain sub-types of HPV may cause cervical cancer. Therefore, abnormal pap smear results deserve a follow-up consultation with your gynaecologist to further assess the cause of the abnormality.
How is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) diagnosed?
During this procedure, dr Lerm will use acetic acid to stain the abnormal areas on the cervix. A specialised microscope is used to magnify the cervix, called a colposcope. If there is a suspicion of a high grade abnormality, she will proceed to take a sample (known as a biopsy) of the abnormal area. This tissue is sent to a pathology lab to assess the thickness and histological type of abnormality. Further treatment is then discussed with you if indicated. If it is found that HPV is the cause of abnormal cells, doctor Lerm will be able to evaluate the results to find out which type of HPV is present and advise you on treatment and your risks of developing cervical cancer.
What about treatment?
Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may differ. HPV is usually fought off by the immune system and supplements can be taken to aid the immune system in fighting off infection. Genital warts caused by HPV may be treated with medication.
Abnormal high grade cervical lesions are diagnosed with colposcopy and biopsy of abnormal areas. The ultimate treatment is to do a LLETZ (Large loop excision of transformation zone) or LEEP(Loop electrosurgical excision procedure) under general anesthesia in theatre before further invasion leads to cervical cancer.