What is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Anyway?
Most sexually active people will be exposed to human papilloma virus (HPV) in their lifetimes. There are at least 100 strains of HPV, some of which are associated with warts, and others that are linked to cancers of the genitalia, anus, and throat in both men and women. The FDA estimates that at least 50% of people who have sex – even with a condom – will contract HPV. The CDC has also declared HPV to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).
FEMALES: Females affected with HPV sometimes develop genital warts, yet many have no symptoms. These symptom-free strains can cause cellular changes and over time lead to cancer. This is part of why routine examinations and pap tests are so important, so that symptom-free infections may be identified and treated before they can develop into something more severe.
MALES: Unless a male develops genital or anal warts, there is no way for him to know whether or not he has HPV. There is currently no HPV test approved for males.
Fortunately, with the help of the immune-support therapies available at Natura Integrative Medicine, it is possible to stave off wart outbreaks and significantly lower the risk of developing HPV-associated cancers.
We work with both male and female patients affected with HPV. In addition to supporting the immune system internally, we also offer cryotherapy treatments to help manage wart outbreaks when they occur. We are also delighted to offer female patients escharotic therapy as a natural alternative to surgical treatment (more below).
Escharotic Therapy for Women with HPV
Depending on the severity of an HPV infection of the cervix, conventional doctors may recommend surgical procedures such as conization or LEEP to remove the abnormal cells associated with the virus. Studies have shown these procedures to be associated with increased risk of pregnancy complications in women who later become pregnant. Other women are simply ideologically opposed to having a piece of the cervix surgically removed. For these reasons, we are thrilled to offer female patients a natural alternative to surgery with a series of treatments known as Escharotic Therapy.*
Escharotic Therapy consists of ten in-office treatments during which different herbs and nutritional constituents are carefully applied to the cervix. These agents promote the sloughing of abnormal cells and encourage healthy cells to grow in their place. Patients are also prescribed nutritional supplements and suppositories to further support the immune system to fight the virus.
*Note: Escharotic therapy is not FDA-approved, but the case studies to date are compelling – please see the links on this page for more details and further reading.
*Note: You must have the results of a recent pap smear and the results from a recent colposcopy with biopsy in order to receive escharotic treatment at Natura Integrative Medicine. (We can collect pap smears in office, but we do not offer colposcopy at this time.)