Last Updated on July 29, 2021 by Nancy Carteron, MD, FACR
STI/STD Symptoms – HPV – High-Risk Types
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the name of a group of viruses that infect the skin.
There are more than 100 different types of HPV.
Certain types of HPV cause warts on the hands or feet, and other types can cause warts on the genitals – these are called low-risk types of HPV. Other types of genital HPV are linked to abnormal cell changes on the cervix (detected through Pap tests) that can lead to cervical cancer – these are called high-risk types of HPV.
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When a person with a vulva/vagina gets a Pap test, they are being screened to make sure that there are no abnormal or precancerous changes in the cells on their cervix. If the Pap test results show these cell changes, this is usually called cervical dysplasia. Other common terms the healthcare provider may use include:
- Abnormal cell changes
- Precancerous cells changes
- CIN (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia)
- SIL (squamous intraepithelial lesions)
- ‘Warts’ on the cervix
All of these terms mean similar things – it simply means that abnormalities were found.
Most of the time, these cell changes are due to HPV.
There are many types of HPV that can cause cervical dysplasia. Most of these types are considered high-risk types, which means that they have been linked with cervical cancer.
Generally, there aren’t any noticeable HPV symptoms for high-risk types of HPV.
Most people feel fine even when they have cell changes caused by HPV.
Less frequently, patients with cervical dysplasia experience:
- Unusual or heavy bleeding from the vagina
- Bleeding between periods
- Pain in the lower back and during intercourse
Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by two specific varieties of genital HPV (16 & 18).
These two HPV strains usually don’t cause warts, so folks often don’t realize they’ve contracted an infection.
When HPV results in cervical cancer, early stages typically cause no signs or symptoms as well. That’s why it’s important for people with vulvas/vaginas to have regular Pap tests, which can detect precancerous changes in the cervix that may lead to cancer.
See below for symptoms of HPV strains related to Genital Warts!
- HPV Briefs
- HPV In-Depth
- All about Herpes Disclosure
- How to Not Give an Eff about Having an STI
- STI Symptoms
- Pictures of Genital Warts
- Genital Warts Briefs
- Genital Warts In-Depth
- Detailed Genital Warts Symptoms
- STI Testing Centers
- List of All STIs/STDs
- Activities That Put You At Risk
- STIs in People with Penises
- STIs in People with Vulvas/Vaginas
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