Understanding Genital Warts

Genital warts are usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Once you get genital warts, it may not be easy to keep them from coming back. Warts affecting genital spots are fairly common among men and women. There are many different types of HPV affecting human bodies and they can cause a wide variety of conditions.

Genital Warts and HPV

HPV can be spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It may even spread through skin-to-skin contact. About 40 types of HPV can cause infection in the genital area and many of these can cause genital warts. A

Genital warts are always caused by an HPV infection. Sometimes genital warts take a long time to show up after infection with HPV.

The Symptoms

Men

Genital warts may appear on anus, penis, or amidst penis and scrotum.

Women

These are found on the outside of the vagina on the vulva. Sometimes, these may be found on the cervix. Genital warts in women may also be too small (or hidden) to be seen.

Appearance of Genital Warts

  • Skin-colored
  • Darker than skin color
  • Raised like tiny pieces of cauliflower
  • Flat
  • In clusters
  • In singles
  • Large/small
  • Smooth
  • Textured

Other Symptoms

  • Bleeding from the vagina after sex
  • Moisture in the genital area
  • Genital itching
  • Vaginal discharge

Risk Factors

One of the major risk factors is having unprotected sex with someone who suffers from HPV. Regular usage of condoms and adopting monogamy will help reduce risk factors of genital warts. Using a condom will also decrease the risk of spread to other people.

Post Treatment Risk

Unfortunately, despite the treatment of genital warts are treated, the infected individual may still be able to spread the HPV sexually. This is due to the virus that sometimes remains hidden in deeper layers of skin. However, removing genital warts completely certainly helps minimizing risk of transmission of HPV.

Diagnosis of Genital Warts

A physical exam can easily diagnose genital warts.

Treatment

Treatments are available for itch and discomfort. Doctors usually prescribe topical medicines that you can put over the warts to help regress the warts. Many warts can also be eliminated through cryosurgery (freezing). Sometimes, they are even cut off. Some of the medical practitioners feel that ninety percent of infections will go away on their own. They usually go within two years.

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