Genital warts in a nutshell
- It is a common sexually transmitted infection.
- It spreads easily through skin to skin contact.
- There is treatment for symptoms of genital warts.
- There are ways to reduce the risk of getting genital warts.
We all want to protect ourselves and each from other sexually transmitted diseases like genital warts.Learn more about these warts is an important first step.
Here are some of the most common questions people ask about genital warts. We hope you find the answers helpful, whether you think you can have genital warts, you have been diagnosed or simply the curious feeling.
What are genital warts?
Genital warts are grow on the genital skin and around the anus. They are caused by certain types of human papilloma virus.
There are over 100 types of Human Papilloma Virus. Some types of HPV cause warts on different parts of the body, such as soles and hands, which are frequent. Some may lead to certain types of cancer, known types of HPV high risk. Others cause genital warts.
Most genital warts are caused by two types of human papillomavirus, types 6 and 11. Genital warts can appear on the mouth or genital area: vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, anus, penis orscrotum. Transmitted from one person to another by skin to skin contact, usually during sex play.
Genital warts are very common. Between 500,000 and 1 million people get genital warts annually.
What are the symptoms of genital warts?
Common symptoms of genital warts are lumps soft to the touch and the color of the skin that may look like the surface of a cauliflower. They often appear in more than one place and may cluster in large tumor masses. Genital warts are usually painless but can cause itching.
You can see and feel genital warts in the vagina or vulva, cervix, penis, anus or urethra. Also, it ispossible but not probable, that they appear in the mouth, lips, tongue and palate, or throat.
Genital warts usually develop from six weeks to six months after infection. However, it may take longer.
Often warts grow faster during pregnancy or when a person’s immune system is weakened because ofthe following:
- HIV / AIDS
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Take anti-rejection drugs after an organ transplant
- Genital warts and cancer
Many people worry that genital warts expose them to contracting cancer. However, the types ofHPV that cause genital warts do not cause cancer.
It is normal to have more than one infection by the human papilloma virus at the same time. In addition, warts can be a sign of infection of a more serious virus. Women can detect the presence of severe forms through regular Pap tests.
- Genital warts and pregnancy
Women with genital warts can have healthy pregnancies. However, a pregnant woman should inform their health care provider if they have had genital warts. That way, they can get any treatment necessary. Sometimes warts develop more rapidly during pregnancy. The health professional can remove them before birth to prevent bleeding during childbirth.
In rare cases, the mother can spread genital warts to the newborn during vaginal delivery. This can cause serious illness for the newborn, including respiratory problems and serious development issues, which sometimes can be fatal. You may need to perform a cesarean section to avoid spreading the infection during delivery or if warts are likely to bleed during birth.
Men and women who have more than one sexual partner or whose partners have more than one sex partner should be screened regularly for the presence of sexually transmitted diseases, including genital warts.
- Not all lumps are warts
Warts can be removed using several treatments. Check with your provider health care in deciding which treatment is best for your case.
There are several medications that can be applied directly to genital warts, depending on where they are located. Some prescription treatments can be used at home. Others should be given by your provider health care. Some treatments for genital warts can cause discomfort. In addition, some can not be used during pregnancy.
Genital warts can also be removed if they are frozen. This is called cryotherapy. They may be burned, so-called electrocautery. Or, can be removed with surgery or laser. In some cases, are treated with injections of interferon, which is another type of medication.
Like all medicines, treatments for genital warts have risks and side effects. Your provider of health care can explain how they are and help you tolerate the side effects of treatment.
Performed after treatment for genital warts, follow these tips:
- Keep the area clean.
- Do not scratch the treated area.
- Wash your hands after touching warts.
- Avoid sexual contact if you feel discomfort.
- Apply cold compresses to relieve discomfort, or you can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).
In some people, especially if they are smokers, warts may return several months after treatment.While in others they may appear again even after a long time.
Abstain from sexual game in which there is skin to skin contact.
If you decide to have vaginal or anal sex, use a condom every time you do. Condoms can reduce the risk of genital warts. They are not as effective against HPV as they are against other infections such as chlamydia and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but greatly reduce the risk of infection. You can use condoms, Sheer Glyde dental dams, latex barriers oral or plastic wrap during oral sex to further reduce risk.
Quit smoking. Smokers may be more likely to develop genital warts than nonsmokers.Furthermore, in them is more likely that warts returning.