Human Papillomavirus Infection in Females
Alternate Names : Genital HPV, Venereal Wart Infection
Human papillomavirus, or HPV, infection is a sexually transmitted disease, or STD,
caused by a group of viruses.
What is going on in the body?
More than 70 types of HPV have been classified but not all cause
genital warts. It is estimated that 70% of sexually active women have been
exposed to HPV. Those women who become infected do not always have visible
The virus may be quiet, or not active, for a long time. Symptoms may then occur
as a result of illness or stress on the immune system, such as other vaginal
infections. Sexual contact with a new partner who is infected with a different
type of HPV may trigger an outbreak of visible lesions.
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
The human papilloma virus is usually passed from one partner to
another during sexual intercourse. Any other intimate contact of the genitals,
mouth, rectal area, or the sharing of sexual toys can transmit the organism
from one individual to another. A woman's risk of HPV infection is increased if
she has more than one sexual partner.