HPV type 18 in women

Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 06.12.2018

The peculiarity of the female reproductive system is that its organs are mostly inside the body and are hidden from the eyes of even the woman herself. If pathological processes begin in the ovaries, vagina, uterus or fallopian tubes, they do not necessarily immediately manifest themselves. The penetration of a bacterial or viral infection and inflammatory processes in the internal genital organs can make their debut with pains and unusual secretions, and may also proceed secretly. But the attachment of papillomavirus infection in most cases complicates the course of the disease no less than the presence of chlamydia, mycoplasma and other pathogens that support the inflammatory process.

It must be said that the likelihood of contracting the papilloma virus in people of reproductive age of the same sex is the same. But the consequences of such infection in women and men are different. The fact that female reproductive organs are located inside the body and their surface is covered with a tender mucous membrane, the penetration of which in depth does not represent complexity for virions, leads to the fact that the virus does more harm to the weaker sex. Plus, hygiene procedures on internal organs are hampered, and natural cleansing of the uterus and vagina is not able to completely remove the virus that enters the cells.

In viral pathology, women are more likely to get bacterial infections, which further weaken the body, because for them the warm and moist environment of the vagina is truly an idyll for life and reproduction, if only the immune system allowed such living.

For example, cervical erosion, as one of the most frequently diagnosed pathologies during a gynecological examination, may not give specific symptoms. In 90% of cases a woman learns about her diagnosis after another gynecological examination on the chair, because only so the doctor can assess the condition of the organs of the reproductive system of a woman. In some women with the appearance of an erosive-inflammatory focus, natural physiological excretions increase. But if they do not have an unpleasant smell and a suspicious yellowish-greenish color indicating the presence of pus, the lady may not particularly worry about them, writing off everything for hypothermia and lowering immunity.

Much less likely to have damage to the mucous uterus at the entrance to the cervical canal can speak discomfort during intercourse, a feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen, the appearance of bloody veins in the physiological discharge from the vagina outside the menstrual period. If there are pain in the lower abdomen, the menstrual cycle is broken, whites with an unpleasant smell appear, then it is not so much about the erosion itself as about the inflammatory process provoked by the activation of opportunistic microorganisms in the lesion. But it is possible that inside the female womb penetrated and pathogens (the same chlamydia or viruses).

In women with chronic erosion, in most cases, analysis shows the presence of HPV virions. It does not have to be highly oncogenic types of the virus. Usually a mixed microflora is detected: conditionally pathogenic microorganisms, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, chlamydia, papilloma viruses (usually from one to four varieties), herpes viruses. To determine the contribution of each pathogen in the maintenance and development of the inflammatory process in the affected area is not easy, but it must be said that their presence always complicates the situation and contributes to increasing erosion in size.

A long-term erosive process at some point may change its nature and, in addition to inflammation in the affected area, the doctor should notice the proliferation of mucosal tissues (cervical dysplasia). It must be said that one of the main factors provoking this process is considered to be papillomavirus infection. Erosive foci are the most vulnerable places on the mucous membrane of the uterus and the vagina, so it is much easier for the virus to penetrate into the tissues of the organs, then into the cells.

If high-oncogenic types of papilloma virus ( HPV 18  and 16) are detected in smears, in addition to dysplastic processes, which are benign tumors, one can expect the degeneration of individual tumor cells into malignant ones. After all, the change in the properties of the host cell is embedded in the genome of highly ionic virions, and the behavior of such mutated cells is no longer controlled by the immune system.

It is difficult to say whether the papilloma virus itself can cause erosion of the cervix (if this happens, it will not be soon). But to provoke dysplastic processes it is quite capable even in the absence of an erosive process, having penetrated into microdamages on the mucous membrane of the uterus and the vagina, which can arise after abortions, active sexual intercourse, be the result of frequent and erratic sexual contacts. In this case dysplasia will proceed without any symptoms for a very long time. Symptoms will only give concomitant diseases (erosive-inflammatory processes, which often develop against the background of papillomavirus infection).

If the cause of dysplasia are viruses of 16 and 18 types, then in half the cases after 10 or more years the disease passes into cervical cancer. Doctors presuppose such an outcome, therefore, they must prescribe a special analysis that allows to identify the virus in the smear (the usual cytology of the smear in this plan is not very informative) and determine its type. Foci of erosion and dysplasia should be removed regardless of whether a highly coenotic type of papilloma virus is detected in them. But when it is revealed, it is mandatory not only to perform a surgical operation to excise pathological tissues, but regular follow-up monitoring of the uterine mucosa.

Another pathology, the development of which is associated with the papillomatous virus, is the ovarian cyst. The cyst is considered a benign neoplasm. In appearance it resembles a pouch with a liquid that can even exceed the size of the organ itself, squeezing it and preventing the release of the egg.

The formation of cysts doctors associate with surgical operations on the genitals, erosive-inflammatory diseases of the uterus, hormonal disorders (half the cases), early menstruation, cycle disorders, etc. Ideally, the neoplasm (luteal cyst, formed from the yellow body, and the follicular cyst, which is formed in the case of the absence of the egg) must resolve itself. The hemorrhagic and endometriotic cysts are amenable to therapeutic treatment.

The greatest danger is represented by the mucinous cyst, which is found in women over 50 and consists of several rapidly growing chambers, and paraovarian, which is formed not on the ovary, but on the priests and also prone to rapid growth. It is difficult to say whether papillomavirus has anything to do with the formation of such cysts, but if the body has HPV 16, 18 or other high-ionic virions, there is a big risk of a benign tumor degenerating into a malignant one.

If a woman has cervical erosion, an ovarian cyst, dysplastic processes in the uterus and HPV 16 or 18, doctors start to sound an alarm. It can not be said that a virus of high oncogeneity necessarily provokes cancer of the cervix or ovaries, but its presence in the body increases the risk of developing a deadly disease several times.

It is important to know!

The abbreviation HPV is currently known, probably, by everyone. It stands for human papillomavirus. Many different strains of this virus have already been found, about two hundred. Read more..

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