Genital Warts: Everything You Need To Know

Woman with warts

Genital warts, also referred to as venereal warts or condylomata acuminata, are tiny growths that can occur on the anus or genitalia. They are often less than 5 mm in size, but can be as large as several centimeters, and are not always apparent to the human eye. They can show up singly or in groups and are normally the same colour as your skin or a little darker. Genital Warts are one of the most common viral STIs, but they can be eradicated with the correct treatment. Sit back and absorb all the information you require in our handy guide below:

What Are Venereal Warts Exactly ?

Genital warts are small, skin-coloured lumps that resemble miniature cauliflowers. They may be found in or on the genitalia: the vagina, vulva, cervix, urethra, penis, scrotum, and anus or all parts of the genital region. These warts are different from any other warts you may encounter on your body.

What Causes Genital Warts and What Are The Signs and Symptoms ?

With more than 100 distinct strains of the virus, HPV is responsible for warts on every part of the body. There are between 30 and 40 strains that can be found in the vaginal and anal regions, but only two forms of HPV, types 6 and 11, are known to cause 90% of genital wart instances and are not cancerous. However, the bulk of HPV-related malignancies are caused by strains 16 and18, which account for 70% of cervical cancers, despite the fact that they do not result in genital warts.

In women, genital warts can appear:

  • On the vulva
  • Inside or outside of the vagina
  • On the cervix
  • Inside the urethra
  • Inside or outside the anus

In men, genital warts can appear:

  • On the penis (on the shaft, on or under the foreskin)
  • On the scrotum
  • Inside the urethra
  • Inside or outside the anus

Although they can occasionally be painful, itchy, and red, genital warts rarely cause symptoms. They can also bleed. It’s crucial you consult a sexual health clinic if you encounter any of the following since warts might be challenging to identify outwardly or internally on the urethra or cervix:

  • A sexual partner that has genital warts, regardless of whether you’re experiencing symptoms
  • 1 or more numb lumps or growths near the penis, ovary, or anus
  • Urine that doesn’t flow normally, such as by pointing sideways, and that change persists
  • A discharge from the cervix that is red, dark, or watery and smells terrible
  • Bleeding from the genital or anus areas or an itchy or burning sensation

How to Treat Venereal Warts

The most appropriate treatment for you will depend on the size, location, and quantity of your genital warts.

Sometimes a genital warts outbreak can go away on its own without treatment. But without treatment, it’s not unusual for the illness to spread and worsen. While genital wart outbreaks may reoccur in the future, treatment can gradually remove the warts, significantly lowering the chance of transmission.

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Cautionary note: 

Since genital warts are caused by a virus rather than a bacteria, antibiotics won’t assist to treat the infection.

Warts on the vaginal or anus areas should NOT be treated with medications intended to treat warts on other parts of the body, such as the hands or feet and vice versa, such treatments will not be effective.

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