What are Genital Warts?
These are small benign warts growing on the reproductive organs. However, the broader definition of genetal warts includes all private parts and the surrounding areas such as penis, vagina, anus, buttocks, thighs and some other surrounding areas.
Other names for GWs are condylomata acuminata, venereal, anal or anogenital warts.
According to the National Health Service (NHS) UK, these are “small fleshy growths” which appear either on around the genital and anal areas.
GWs are quite common around the world and in some countries, like England, they are the second most sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Genetal warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 different strains of HPV and only two types i.e. type 6 and type 11 cause gential warts.
Once a person is infected, genital warts tend appear any time between three to twelve months.
According to Medical News Today, 60% of people who have sexual relations with others already developed genetial warts may get them too.
These are contagious and can easily spread from one person to another. People who have already developed such infections can easily pass them on to others on sexual contact.
Use of condoms can protect it to some degree but this is not an overall protection. Genital warts grow on vagina, anus, penis and the surrounding area.
So, they can come in contact with the skin even if condom is used. It is, therefore, obvious that they may even spread without any penetrative sex. Both men and women can get the virus. Following are some of the most common way
- Penetrative sexual contact.
- Skin to skin contact during non-penetrative sexual contact.
- Areas not covered by condom.
- After warts have disappeared.
- Oral sex on infected skin
- Area around the anus without having anal sex.
- Area around the vagina without having sex in vagina.
- Passing on to a baby at birth.
There are some implications of women who attract HPV during pregnancy. According to Medical News Today, pregnant women may have difficulty while urinating.
There is also some risk to the baby of catching warts in the throat which may require surgery to clear the airway from becoming obstructed.
Symptoms and Areas
- Vulva i.e. lips of vagina
- On vagina
- On anus
- On penis
- Head of the penis
- Inside vagina
- Inside anus
- Vaginal area
- Anal area
- Occur singly or in clusters
According to some sources there is actually no cure for HPV infection. The immune system of the body will fight the infection and get rid of the virus within a few months. Sometimes, it may take as long as 18 to 24 months for the system to fully recover.
Many health organizations such as the NHS in UK and the National Institute of Health in the USA recommend not to use any “do it yourself” remedies for the treatments or removal of warts.
According to NHS, it is always best to your General Health Practitioner. According to the trust’s website, over the counter creams (OTC) designed for the removal of warts do not work on genital warts.
If you are in the UK, it is advised to go to your local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic. The treatment and advice in GUM clinics is confidential and is not shared with others.
The doctor may either prescribe topical creams and solutions or use one of the ablative methods such cryosurgery, excision, freezing etc.
The physically ablative methods are done with local anesthetic. People report mild to moderate levels of pain during the treatment. The post treatment period is often more painful because of itching, inflammation and blistering.
Whether the doctor prescribes you topical treatment or conducts ablative method, in both cases, the treatment takes a few months for the warts to completely disappear. It is, therefore, very important to be patient and consistent during treatment.
Do they Keep Coming Back?
People often complain that their warts recur even they were treated successfully. The reason behind is that such warts are treated only superficially while the roots of the infection still lie under the skin. After a few months, the infection may resurface itself in the form of stubborn warts.
HPV vaccines can give protection against hpv. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was found that women who were given two doses of hpv vaccines had 70 percent protection rate while those who were administered three doses had 82 percent protection ratio.