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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This website has been incredibly helpful. Thank you.
I have a few questions? can you test for the different types of hpv? I’ve had warts on my hands and feet ever since i can remember and have had a few out breaks around, and on my genitals over the course of seven years starting at a pretty early age. I’ve never gotten a diagnosis from a doctor they just remove them or prescribe me something and send me out with a bill. It’s been pretty confusing the whole time. I treat the illness with as healthy and organic of a diet possile, exercise and the medicines that have worked for me but would like to know more about about the testing process for the different types of the virus. (The hotline advertisments for care reps? Are those worth calling?)
I have also had a recent outbreak of what appears to be the second outbreak of genital herpes. I didn’t think the first outbreak was herpes and it was totally different than this symptom, but it matched the descriptions I found here. that happened about six months ago but i thought it might have been a really bad case of razor burn. The unfortunate timing of everything was questionable the first time but, now I have had two bumps that appear like the pictures of herpes on my scrotum. they are a good couple inches from each other and aren’t oozing. They are rock hard if that’s normal? maybe they are cists? one appeared yesterday and I panicked and treated it with peppermint oil once that morning and once that evening which burned like mad the first day. The swelling went down halfway after twelve hours though, so i treated it again that evening but to my horror. When i woke up the next morning there was another one half the size. I don’t normally internet but I had to look into it seeing how its going to be days till I can see a doctor.
I’m going to the doc within the next week for these new symptoms. Your website has been much more informative than the doctors I get to go to. if you have any info that could help me that would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you and blessings.
Hi Mike –
Great questions – I’ll do my best to answer them as thoroughly as possible, albeit, the end result is that you’ll definitely want to see a medical professional while you still have symptoms.
Unfortunately, there are not yet tests designed for men which will test for HPV – any strain. HPV – the low-risk, warts-causing strains are only diagnosed visually, as yours have been.
The advertisements you’re seeing for care reps are with our STD testing partner. They do a fantastic job answering questions and setting up the testing process, but even they only test for 8 of the common infections – HIV; hepatitis b & c; herpes 1 & 2, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. So, yes, if you’re considering seeing a private provider in the US, they’re a good option, but they don’t test for HPV or molluscum, for example.
Trouble is, the bumps you’re describing as maybe being herpes might also be molluscum contagiosum – molluscum is also diagnosed visually. So, quite honestly, before you do anything else to the bumps themselves, I’d go in to see someone, so they can base a diagnosis on your visual symptoms as well – everything is much easier to diagnose and treat while systems are present.
Hope this helps!