Q: Can women get anal and rectal cancers?
A: Woman get anal and rectal cancers and the incidence of new cases is rising. Anal cancer is not restricted to men who have sex with men (MSM). The recent death of Farrah Fawcett Majors from anal cancer underscores this point.
Q: Why would a person get an infection in the anal or perianal area?
A: The first thing to think about is whether there was rubbing or sexual activity in the area.
Q: Why do women get HPV infections so frequently in the perianal area?
A: The anatomical proximity of the vulva and vagina area to the perianal area in women makes spread from the front to the back easier. Involvement of the anus and perianal area in women is in most instances not because of anal intercourse, although it can be a contributing factor.
Q: What are the other ways that a person can get an HPV infection in the anal or perianal area?
A: Many HPV infections in the anal area occur after episodes of having a problem with diarrhea or constipation that resulted in breaks in the skin which allowed any HPV infection from any source to more easily get established. There are many individuals who vigorously and repeatedly clean themselves after bowel movements to the point where they even draw blood and create small fissures in the skin. This allows the HPV virus to more easily establish a reservoir of infection in this location.
Q: Are infections in the anal and perianal area more difficult to treat?
A: HPV infections in the anal and perianal area are frequently more challenging to treat and are associated with a greater number of recurrences.
Q: What are HPV infections in the anal and perianal area more difficult to treat?
A: The increased heat and moisture created by the skin folds in this area create an attractive environment in which HPV can grow and thrive.
Q: Is it OK to me to air dry myself after a shower so that I am not at first completely dry?
A: The increased moisture sitting on the surface of the skin can contribute to the breakdown of the skin. You should dry yourself thoroughly after a shower or bath. Baby powder would also be helpful to keep the area dry.
Q: Do woman get genital warts in the anal area because of anal sex?
A: Woman can get genital warts in the anal area because of anal sex, but the fact that a woman has genital warts in the anal area does not mean that she contracted the infection from anal sex.
Q: How does a person get HPV in the anus or rectal area?
A: This can occur from rubbing during sexual foreplay or from intercourse. HPV infection in the perianal area and in the anus can occur without ever having experience sexual contact in that area.
Q: How can an HPV infection in the genital area can spread to the anal area?
A: Many instances of HPV infection in the perianal, anal and rectal area are not caused by sexual contact to the area. An HPV infection from the penis or vulva/vaginal area can spread to the anal area from friction, wearing tight clothing, and/or by touching themselves and spreading infection from the front to the back. If a person has had problems with their bowel movements resulting in breaks in the skin there is an increased chance of the HPV virus establishing an infection in that area.
Q: Why do you see so many cases of anal genital warts in women who never had anal sex?
A: The vulva-vaginal area in women is anatomically close to the anal area. Genital warts in the vulva vaginal area can easily spread to the anal area from the normal shedding of the virus and even from vaginal secretions.