Monday, January 16, 2012

All About Genital Warts - Causes, Treatments and More

All About Genital Warts - Causes, Treatments and More

Soft, wart like growths on the genitals or the areas surrounding them are caused by virus and known as genital warts. They are a type of sexually transmitted infection (STI). Human papilloma virus (HPV) is responsible for genital warts. More than 100 types of HPV are known to exist out of which several cause genital warts, which can be found on the vulva, vagina, cervix, anus, larynx, and the penis.

What causes genital warts?

Genital warts are caused when HPV infects the top layer of the skin. Warts are highly contagious and can be caused by sexual contact with an infected person. More than 60% of people who have sexual contact with infected people develop warts. Usually, these warts develop in around three months after the person is infected but in certain cases, the person may not notice any symptoms. Recent studies have shown that more than 10% of English women have already been infected with one or more strains of the HPV before the age of 16.

Diagnosing genital warts

Women - In women, genital warts may exist on the inner side of the vagina, cervix, upper thighs and on the anus. It may be present inside the anus as well.

Men - Genital warts develop on the urethra, penis, upper thighs, anus or the scrotum. It may appear inside the anus as well.

There are cases where oral sex has raised the risk of genital warts. In such cases warts may develop in the mouth or throat. A patient suffering from such a health condition needs to visit a health care professional or doctor to confirm the occurrence of genital warts.

There are many cases where individuals have not experienced any kind of symptoms of genital warts. Even if you have the slightest doubt of contacting genital warts, you should check with a doctor. You should go for a check-up if:

- You or your partner has genital warts symptoms

- You had unprotected sexual intercourse with a new partner

- You or your partner has had unprotected sexual intercourse with - someone else

- Your partner tells you that he/she has a sexually transmitted disease

- You have a sexually transmitted disease

- Your partner is pregnant

- You or your partner is trying to get pregnant

An experienced health care professional can diagnose genital warts if there are any visible symptoms. The examination of warts may involve looking inside the anus or vagina or a biopsy in rare cases.

At times, when warts are not detected, the doctor may ask you to come after sometime.

What do genital warts look like?

Genital warts are flesh-coloured or gray in colour and they look like tiny swellings on the genital area

Many warts may be clustered together and form a cauliflower shape

Some warts are very small and can only be seen with a microscope

What is the treatment for genital warts?

The treatment of warts depends on the location, the appearance and the number of warts. You can use the following treatment options for getting rid of warts.

Topical medication - You may apply a liquid or a cream on the warts for a few days.

Cryotherapy - Genital warts are frozen in this therapy with liquid nitrogen. Freezing leads to development of small blisters around the warts which will slide off eventually and new skin will appear in its place.

Surgery - The wart is cut out and a local anaesthetic is used for a surgery.


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