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HPV Treatment: What Options are Available in the Philippines?

HPV Treatment: What Options are Available in the Philippines?

HPV is a very common sexually transmitted disease. If you want to learn more about HPV and the health concerns that it can cause, and the available HPV treatment options in the country, here is everything you need to know.

Types of HPV Treatment

There is currently no one, particular HPV treatment. There are, however, treatment options for the health concerns that may arise from contracting HPV. Common health concerns caused by HPV and treatment for them include:

Cervical Precancer

  • Excision (surgically removing abnormal area)
  • Laser
  • Cryosurgery

Other Cancers (vulvar, vagina, anal, etc.)

  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Immunotherapy

Genital Warts

  • Topical wart treatments (trichloroacetic acid, podophyllin, imiquimod, etc.)
  • Cryosurgery (freezing warts)
  • Electrocautery (using electric currents to burn warts)
  • Excision (cutting warts off)
  • Laser treatments

Vaccination

The HPV vaccine does not provide absolute protection from the disease but there’s a reason doctors still suggest you get vaccinated: the HPV vaccine prevents HPV strains that can lead to cancer.

For example, various strains of HPV are known to cause cervical cancer. Getting vaccinated prior to exposure to the virus can prevent you from developing cervical cancer, one of the most common cancers in women.

Not only that, the HPV vaccine can also protect women against HPV strains that cause vulvar and vaginal cancer. In both men and women, the vaccine can prevent anal cancer and genital warts.

Additionally, certain HPV strains have been linked to throat and mouth cancers. Therefore, getting a vaccination for HPV can be beneficial for both genders and their future sexual partners.

When is the Vaccine Given?

The HPV vaccine is typically given when a child is around 11 to 12 years old. However, it is also possible that a child receives theirs as early as 9 years old.

HPV vaccine dosage depends on the patient’s age. Those below 15 years old will receive two dosages about 6-12 months apart. If the doses are given less than five months apart, they will need a third dose.

Those at a later age of 15 to 26 years old as well as those who are immunocompromised will typically follow a three-dose schedule. It is not currently recommended for those above the age of 26.

Pregnant women and people who are moderately/severely ill are usually not candidates for the HPV vaccine.

Remember that the HPV vaccine is a form of prevention, not treatment. If you already have HPV, the vaccine will not treat it. With that said, the importance of the HPV vaccine lies in its potential to greatly lessen one’s risk of HPV-related infections and diseases. Talk to your doctor about getting an HPV shot if you have yet to receive it.

How Long Does Infection Last?

It’s good to know that 90% of new HPV infections can go away on their own without treatment. Cases can also go undetected for up to two years.

However, when HPV infections do remain in the body, it leads to other health concerns such as genital warts and cancer.

This again points to the importance of not only practicing safe sex but also protecting one’s self from more serious diseases such as cancer through the vaccine.

When to See a Doctor

Symptoms of HPV to watch out for include:

  • Abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Genital warts appearing in you or your partner
  • Bleeding, pain, or burning sensation during sexual intercourse or urination

If you suspect that you do have HPV, it’s always best to seek medical attention from a healthcare provider.

With a consultation and examination, your doctor will be able to tell you whether you have an HPV infection or not. For women aged 30 and above, a more stringent HPV test may be conducted to screen for cervical cancer. This test is not recommended for men.

HPV Treatments Available in the Philippines

Most hospitals and clinics will be able to offer basic treatment for the health concerns caused by HPV. For instance, a basic clinic will likely be able to offer topical treatments for genital warts.

However, you may need to go to a hospital for more serious HPV-related health concerns. For example, you will need to visit a hospital if you need surgery or chemotherapy for cancer from HPV.

Most barangay health centers and government hospitals offer the HPV vaccine for free. People can also pay for HPV vaccinations from other hospitals and clinics.

Key Takeaways

HPV is a very common STI, but getting a vaccine to prevent the health concerns that HPV can cause and practicing safe sex can be beneficial for all.

Learn more about HPV here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Tracey Romero Updated Jun 18
Medically reviewed by Mike-Kenneth Go Doratan, M.D.
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