Genital warts are growths or bumps that appear:
Genital warts is one of the most common
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Genital warts are caused by the
Certain types of HPV may cause
HPV is easily spread during oral, genital, or anal sex with an infected partner. Most people who have sex with an infected partner will also develop genital warts.
Warts can also be spread to an infant during delivery if the mother has genital warts.
Factors that may increase your risk for HPV and genital warts include:
Genital warts often look like fleshy, raised growths. They can have a cauliflower shape, and often appear in clusters. Some warts may be flat. The warts may not be easy to see with the unaided eye. Warts can take several weeks or months to appear after the infection.
In women, warts may be found in the following areas:
In men, warts are less common. If present, they are usually found in these areas:
While warts do not usually cause symptoms, the following may occur:
Genital warts may be diagnosed by:
A doctor can usually diagnose genital warts by looking at them. If external warts are found on a woman, then the cervix is usually also checked. A special solution may be used to help find lesions that do not have classic features.
A sample of cervical or vular tissue may be taken and tested for HPV.
Treatment helps the symptoms, but does not cure the virus. The virus stays in your body. This means the warts may recur.
Your treatment depends on the size and location of the warts. Not all warts need to be treated. If left untreated, some may go away on their own, but others may stay. Some warts may also get larger or spread.
Treatments may include:
Topical medication is applied directly to the skin. It may be a cream, ointment, resin, solution, or acid.
Cryosurgery, Electrocautery, or Laser Treatment
Methods that instantly destroy warts include:
These methods are used on small warts. It may be used on larger warts that have not responded to other treatment. A large wart can also be removed with surgery.
The only way to completely prevent HPV from spreading is to avoid physical contact with infected partners.
Latex condoms may help reduce the spread of HPV infection and genital warts. Condoms are not 100% effective because they do not cover the entire genital area.
Other ways to help prevent infection include:
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