Menstrual Glossary A to Z

Human Papillomavirus

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) refers to an entire group of over 100 different but related strains of virus, many of which are sexually transmittable. Infection can occur in any tissues of the genital area, mouth, or throat.

Most of the time there are no symptoms; sometimes small warts can be visible, as late as weeks or months following initial contact, and can be removed with medication.

Some HPV strains can cause cervical cancer and other kinds of more rare cancers of the genital and head/neck region. There are two vaccines against most strains of HPV: Cervarix and Gardasil. It is not always possible to tell if a sex partner has Human Papillomavirus and condoms are not fully protective.

Disclaimer: All information provided in this glossary is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for advice provided by a medical doctor or qualified healthcare provider. You should not use this information for self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. If you have any questions whatsoever about your medical health or believe you have a medical problem or disease, you should contact your medical doctor or healthcare provider. You should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you have read in this glossary. No guarantee is made about the accuracy, completeness, or relevance of the information contained herein.