Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. In fact, according to the
HPV is an incurable yet common infection affecting approximately 85% of sexually active adults at some point in their lives. While HPV symptoms can clear up with natural treatment, high-risk HPV can cause cervical cancer. One of the top ways to alleviate an HPV infection is by boosting the immune system through diet and nutrition.
Below, we’ll discuss how to treat an HPV infection naturally. At Rapid STD Testing, we offer same-day STD testing and educational resources on STIs. If you think you may have HPV, you should get tested to assess the risk factors with your provider.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. HPV spreads through skin-to-skin contact, meaning you can get HPV even when using barrier methods. You may be at a high risk of HPV if your partner has an active infection.
When spread via sexual contact, the infection typically causes genital warts. You can have HPV without experiencing any symptoms, meaning you may spread the infection unknowingly. There are over 100 strains of HPV that all cause varying symptoms and risks, ranging from warts on your hands and common genital warts to an increased risk of cervical cancer.
The most common HPV symptoms you may experience if you get genital warts include the following:
- Skin-colored bumps on the vagina, vulva, cervix, scrotum, penis, or anus
- A burning sensation
- Warts lumping together in a cauliflower shape
If you don’t have symptoms or only have mild ones, your doctor may not prescribe any medication. In this scenario, you can allow the infection to clear up on its own while trying different lifestyle changes to boost your immune system for faster recovery.
If you have one of the types of HPV that can increase your risk of cervical cancer, your provider will likely want to continue observing it over time to see how the cells change. If you have more uncomfortable warts, your doctor may recommend more aggressive treatment to clear up the infection.
Is There a Cure for HPV?
HPV currently has no cure. Thankfully, you can get the HPV vaccine to prevent the types of HPV that lead to cervical cancer.
Is there a quick way to get rid of HPV symptoms? Yes, if you have a severe flare-up of genital warts, your doctor may recommend aggressive treatment remedies to clear the infection in a short period. Quick ways to get rid of HPV symptoms include the following:
- Prescription imiquimod or podofilox cream
- Liquid nitrogen treatment (cryotherapy)
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)
- Surgical removal
- Trichloroacetic acid
- Laser surgery
Prompt diagnosis and treatment can help you prevent the warts from worsening so you can avoid aggressive procedures. You should schedule regular screenings to stay on top of your health.
Home Remedies for HPV
Now that you know how the infection works, we can discuss how to treat an HPV infection naturally. Before diving into the holistic approach, you must understand that these remedies will not kill the virus.
Nothing can kill HPV, including natural remedies, prescription medications, and surgical procedures. All of these remedies work to alleviate HPV side effects, primarily genital warts. The natural remedies we discuss below cannot kill HPV, but they may help clear up active breakouts by boosting your immune system.
We will break the home remedies into two categories: nutritional items you can implement and lifestyle changes you can make. Let’s start with the vitamins and supplements:
- Folate (vitamin B9): B-complex vitamins, particularly folate (B9), can boost cervical health and reduce your risk of contracting the strain of HPV that leads to cervical cancer.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C has immune-boosting properties for clearing an active infection or preventing one from forming.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A offers antiviral properties and can help your cells function properly, meaning it may fight off abnormal cell production.
- Zinc: Zinc offers immune support, which can help you fight various illnesses and infections.
- Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC): AHCC, found in shiitake mushroom extract, can help clear active HPV infections.
- Beta carotene: According to clinical research, women with high levels of this chemical compound were 50% less likely to contract HPV.
- Selenium: Selenium can boost cervical health and protect against cell damage.
- Diindolylmethane (DIM): DIM, like many antioxidants, can prevent oxidative stress while reducing the progression of abnormal cells in cervical tissue.
- Garlic: Garlic contains allicin, which may offer antibacterial and antiviral properties that boost your immune system.
- Green tea: Green tea contains numerous antioxidants that promote general health and immune support.
Please keep in mind that the above remedies may still cause side effects if you’re allergic or sensitive to the ingredients. You may also try to clear an infection by implementing lifestyle changes that strengthen your immune system and overall health.
Lifestyle changes may include adjusting your diet to include more nutritious and balanced foods, exercising more, and cutting out unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking. Avoiding alcohol and cigarettes may improve your immune response so you can fight the virus faster. Stress management is another excellent holistic technique, as high stress levels can inhibit healing.
Living With HPV
While HPV may not have a cure, it is quite manageable. You can live a comfortable, long life with HPV by following your doctor’s recommendations and finding support when necessary. Remember that you are not alone, as HPV is one of the most common infections spread through sexual transmission.
Here are our top tips on what you should do when living with HPV:
- Stay up to date on your vaccinations: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the HPV vaccine to anyone under the age of 26. If you haven’t had it, speak with your doctor about your options. The vaccine could save your life.
- Follow the recommended Pap smear schedule: Pap smears allow your doctor to screen you for cervical cancer. Women over 21 should schedule regular Pap smears to check their cervical health.
- Understand your cervical cancer risks: HPV does not immediately mean you’re at risk of cervical cancer because only a few strains can lead to different cancers. You could be at a higher risk if you contracted one of those strains. To understand your risks, you should speak with your doctor.
- Have an open conversation with your partner: If you receive a positive diagnosis, you should speak with your partner so they can also get tested.
- Use safe sex prevention strategies: Safe sex strategies can prevent the spread of HPV. You should use the barrier method during all sexual contact.
- Develop a solid support system: A positive diagnosis could make you feel isolated. If so, reach out to friends, family, or support groups so you have people you can trust to talk to.
- Prioritize your health: If you receive a positive diagnosis, following a healthy diet can help you clear an active breakout faster. Prioritize your health by eating nutritious foods and staying active.
You can do your part to prevent the spread of STIs by getting screened regularly. Order a rapid STD test from Rapid STD Testing today or visit a local clinic for a health consultation.
Keep Learning With Rapid STD Testing
Now that you know how to treat an HPV infection naturally, continue learning with our guide on the link between HPV and yeast infection frequency. If you think you may have an STI, order a 10-panel STD test from Rapid STD Testing or call our team at (866) 872-1888 with any questions.