The treatment for HPV (human papillomavirus) depends on the type of HPV and the symptoms it causes. There is no cure for HPV, but the virus usually clears up on its own without treatment within two years.
If the virus causes genital warts, your doctor may recommend topical medications or procedures to remove the warts, such as cryotherapy (freezing), laser therapy, or surgical excision. However, even after warts are removed, the virus may still be present in the body and can cause future outbreaks.
If you have an abnormal Pap smear or positive HPV test result, your doctor may recommend follow-up testing or a colposcopy (a procedure that allows the doctor to examine the cervix). Depending on the severity of any abnormal cells, your doctor may recommend further monitoring or treatment, such as a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) or a cone biopsy.
The best way to prevent HPV and its complications is to get vaccinated. The HPV vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 26. It is most effective when given before exposure to the virus.
It is important to discuss any concerns or questions about HPV and its treatment with a healthcare provider.