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Picture of Genital wart

Genital wart is a type of growth on the genital areas such as the penis, vagina, and anus. It is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) family of viruses and is sexually transmitted. There are least 60 types of the virus and some of them don’t cause any symptoms. It is reported more often in men than women. The Genital wart is spread by direct skin contact during vaginal or anal sex. People with HPV may not show symptoms until the appearance of the warts. If left untreated, it can cause cervical cancer in females. They can be treated with topical creams or surgically removed.

What are the symptoms?

They may have a flesh color and cauliflower appearance or look like small bumps. It is sometimes difficult to spot the Genital wart because it may be inside the vagina or rectum. You may experience itching, bleeding and pain during sexual intercourse, or abnormal vaginal discharge. Some warts grow fast, especially during pregnancy and if left untreated can become large enough to block the vaginal, rectal or urethral openings. They normally appear on the shaft of the penis, under the foreskin and in the anus area of the male. It can be found inside the vagina, on the vulva, in the cervix and the anus of a woman. Smokers are more at risk of contracting the virus and treatment takes longer. The Genital wart is soft and moist and appears within weeks after the infection. You may also experience an odor besides bleeding, itching and pain. The warts are painless, but if they block the entrance to vagina or anus, you will experience pain.

Diagnosis for Genital wart

Visual examination will only reveal those warts that are visible. The warts that appear in the vagina area are flat and can only be traced through special procedures. Women should have pap smears at least every six months to detect any warts.

Treatment for Genital wart

The HPV virus stays in your body and can be treated but not cured. Genital wart treatment can take long and prove to be frustrating since new warts may appear as soon as the old warts are removed or disappear. It becomes difficult to get rid of the warts when the condition is left untreated for a long time. Treatment options include:

  1. Liquid Nitrogen freezing of the warts. It is sometimes used in combination with the plant resin Podophyllin, which is washed off after six hours to prevent burning of the skin. Don’t use Podophyllin while you are pregnant, as it will harm the fetus.
  2. Trichloracetic acid (TCA) is another Genital wart treatment. Several treatments with this drug are needed for positive results.
  3. Aldara is the latest cream available. It is applied three times a week before bedtime, but should not be used during pregnancy.
  4. Laser treatment is recommended when the warts are in the vagina area and don’t respond to other treatments.
  5. Injections of interferon in combination with Podophyllin creams.
  6. Surgical removal of the warts is done when all other treatments fail.

Precautions for Genital wart

Even though you don’t display symptoms of HPV while undergoing treatment, the virus can still be transmitted to your sexual partner. Refrain from sexual intercourse when the warts are visible in the vagina or penis area. Make use of a condom as a rule, but keep in mind that the unprotected areas are still at risk. Don’t stop treatment until all the warts have disappeared. It is common in the age group of 17-33 years. The chances for contracting the virus through a single sexual intercourse with an infected person are as high as 60 percent. You are at a greater risk of contracting cancer of the cervix when you have the herpes virus together with HPV. It is in an indication of sexual abuse if a child has these warts. Studies have shown that 40 percent of sexually active adults has the virus.

Multiple sexual partners, poor personal hygiene, pregnancy, heavy perspiration, anal intercourse, or infection with another sexually transmitted disease increase the risk of contracting the virus. The HPV virus can remain latent for a while and it is therefore important to go for regular medical checkups, especially if you fall into one of the above groups. Abstaining from sex is the best way to prevent the spread of Genital wart.


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