What is HPV?
HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus. Certain strains of this virus are responsible for causing genital warts, others can cause cervical dysplasia and an increased risk of cervical cancer.
How many people have Human Papilloma Virus?
Based on Canadian population statistics an estimated 3-9 million Canadians are infected with HPV. It is estimated that 75% of Canadians will experience at least one infection with this virus in their lifetime.
What increases risk of getting HPV?
- Increased number of sexual partners
- Having a weak immune system
- Unprotected sex (although condom use does not guarantee that you will not contract the Human Papilloma Virus)
What does HPV cause?
- In many instances, nothing, the virus just clears on it’s own within 1-2 years and requires no treatment.
- Cervical dysplasia – abnormal cells on the cervix that are found during a PAP smear.
- Cervical cancer – having the virus increases your risk of cervical cancer. Certain strains of HPV (16 & 18) increase risk.
- Oropharyngeal cancer – mouth and throat cancer can also be caused by HPV infection in both men and women.
- Genital warts – usually caused by HPV 6 & 11, which are rarely responsible for cancer.
How is HPV treated?
Conventional doctors may prescribe topical treatment for genital warts or use liquid nitrogen or electrocautery to remove them. In the case of cervical dysplasia, doctors may perform a colposcopy (a scope to have a closer look), a biopsy (to confirm dysplasia) or a LEEP procedure to remove abnormal cells.
Naturopathic treatment of HPV includes:
- Balance hormones to balance immune function and strengthen cervical tissue
- Herbs to kill the Human Papilloma virus
- Herbs to encourage sloughing off of abnormal cells (dysplasia)
- Herbs to soothe and heal the cervix (or other affected tissue)
- Vitamins and minerals to improve anti-viral activity of the immune system
Does Naturopathic treatment of Human Papilloma Virus work?
Yes! 95% of the patients who have undergone naturopathic treatment for HPV have had their dysplasia clear and have had ongoing normal PAP smears.