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Vaccination against HPV - the rational approach in adolescents

Dr. Tsvetelina Popova

Dr. Popova graduated from Medical faculty of the University of Sofia in 2016 and acquired a specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2021 at the University of Sofia. She is working on her PhD dissertation at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in SBALAG Maichin dom, since 2020

The topic of her dissertation is: "Cicatrix defects after caesarean section"

Dr. Popova's main professional interests are in the field of endoscopic surgery, clinical gynecology, colposcopy, pregnancy follow-up in women's consultation and delivery.


Dr. Popova has been part of the MC Markovs team since 2022.

What does HPV stand for?

Human papilloma viruses (Human Papilloma Virus - HPV) represent a heterogeneous group of over 100 types of viruses. About 40 of them can affect the human genital organs after a direct contact. At least 14 types of HPV are classified as "high risk" because they cause various malignant changes, such as cervical cancer and others.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is primarily transmitted during intercourse with an infected partner. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide.


The "high-risk" types of HPV can also cause some other malignancies - anus, genitals, neck, head, etc. "Low-risk" types of HPV can cause warts (condylomas) in the intimate area.


Who is at risk of contracting HPV?

Anyone who has intercourse can be infected with HPV.


How can HPV infection be prevented?

Vaccination against HPV prevents infection with the virus and the subsequent occurrence of related diseases in both genders, including genital and anal warts (condylomata), cervical cancer, etc. The HPV vaccine is usually given to girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 14 according to the national immunization schedule.


The use of condoms is not a 100% effective method of prevention because HPV can affect the skin of unprotected areas and thus an infection can occur.


What are the symptoms of HPV?

In most cases HPV infection resolves spontaneously without causing any apparent clinical symptoms or problems.  Most sexually active people are in contact with HPV at some point in their lives without realizing it. Sometimes HPV infection can remain hidden in the body and after years causes some of the complications mentioned above.


How is HPV infection diagnosed?

HPV infection is diagnosed by taking sample of the cervix - secretion from the cervical canal or biopsy tissue. The  physician chooses what  method of treatment to use having in mind the clinical manifestation of the infection.


Is HPV curable?

There is no effective treatment for HPV viruses. Health issues related to HPV infection can be treated in different ways. The best way to be informed on the possible options is to consult a qualified Gynecology specialist.