WHAT ARE GENITAL WARTS?
A genital wart is a benign skin growth appearing on the genitals and around the anus. This growth can be itchy and painful and fall in the category of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The specific HPV strains that cause these warts are HPV 6 and HPV 11. These strains are different from the other types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and dysplasia.
Down below, we will discuss the impact of genital HPV warts. We will also help you understand how to choose the most suitable genital warts removal technique.
Table of Contents
- 1 WHAT ARE GENITAL WARTS?
- 2 WHAT ARE GENITAL WARTS SYMPTOMS?
- 3 HOW DO GENITAL WARTS USUALLY DEVELOP?
- 4 HOW GENITAL WARTS ARE DIAGNOSED?
- 5 HOW ARE GENITAL WARTS TREATED?
- 6 CAN GENITAL WARTS BE PREVENTED?
- 7 GENITAL WATS FAQs
- 8 SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
WHAT ARE GENITAL WARTS SYMPTOMS?
People who engage in oral sex with a person infected with HPV may have these warts on their tongue, lips, throat, or other areas of the mouth.
Even if these are not visible, you can tell whether you have them by noticing the following symptoms:
- Vaginal discharge
Remember, these warts can become enlarged or spread around and cause more pain and discomfort.
HOW DO GENITAL WARTS USUALLY DEVELOP?
Genital warts usually develop after sexual activity, including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. In most cases, this skin growth appears several weeks or months after infection.
Sometimes, these are too small to be visible to the naked eye. Their color may be close to the surrounding skin area or slightly darker. Generally, the top of these growths looks pretty much like a cauliflower. And these warts are usually soft or somewhat bumpy to touch.
They may appear in clusters, or there may be just one wart.
Male individuals have these warts in the following areas:
- Around or inside the anus
Female individuals have these warts in the following areas:
- Outside or inside the vagina or anus
HOW GENITAL WARTS ARE DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis involves the following steps:
- Your doctor will ask some questions about your health and sexual history. They may ask about any symptoms you experienced and whether you have had sex.
- The doctor will perform a physical exam of the areas where you think warts may occur or reoccur. Often, a physical exam is all that your doctor needs to do to conclude a diagnosis.
Now, we will discuss some other methods used to diagnose genital warts.
During this procedure, your doctor closely examines your vagina, cervix, and vulva. The doctor may collect samples from your cervix for the screening and diagnosis of genital warts. This procedure involves using a particular instrument called a colposcope.
Vinegar (Acetic Acid) Solution Test
During this test, your doctor applies a vinegar solution to the area with a suspected wart appearance. This area will turn white if it houses genital warts. This test helps identify flat lesions of HPV virus infections that are not easily identifiable with the naked eye.
A Pap test involves your doctor collecting a tissue sample from your cervix. Then, they send this sample to a lab, where it is examined under a microscope. During this examination, experts see if the collected samples contain abnormal cells that indicate the presence of genital warts.
You lie on a table with your feet placed in stirrups during a DNA test. A healthcare provider then inserts an instrument called a speculum into your vagina and opens it to have an inside view. The cells to check warts are usually collected from the cervix. These cells are sent to a lab where experts examine them under a microscope to see if they contain genetic materials from HPV types that cause genital warts or cancer.
HOW ARE GENITAL WARTS TREATED?
While genital warts will seem like going away, their root cause – HPV – will likely linger in the affected area for the rest of your life. This may mean recurrent outbreaks in the future. Therefore, managing symptoms is vital to prevent HPV from transmitting to other people. But remember, you may still be passing on this virus even if you do not see or experience any symptoms.
Moreover, managing genital warts symptoms with over-the-counter medications is not generally possible. You will need to discuss the treatment with your doctor. But first, they will perform any of the diagnostic procedures mentioned above and prescribe one or both of the following treatments.
Medications: These are usually topical treatments mainly using Condylox, Aldera, or TCA.
Surgery: It is a minor operation where the doctor removes the HPV-affected area.
CAN GENITAL WARTS BE PREVENTED?
Yes, you can prevent genital warts with timely HPV vaccination or other barrier techniques. Here is a quick overview of the preventative measures to keep genital warts at bay.
- Gardasil 9 is a well-known vaccination option to prevent known HPV infections, including genital warts, in all genders. All People aged between 9 and 45 can have these vaccines. Your doctor will determine the exact number of doses you need. The primary prerequisite of this vaccine is that the person should not be sexually active when receiving it.
- Using a condom during sex is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of genital warts. This physical barrier prevents the transmission of HPV and other kinds of STD-causing viruses and bacteria.
GENITAL WATS FAQs
What is the fastest way to get rid of genital warts?
Surgery and cryosurgery are the fastest ways to remove genital warts. Your doctor may consider using an electric current or laser treatment to remove a genital wart in some cases.
Is it worth removing genital warts?
Yes, it is worth eliminating genital warts. No evidence suggests that removing an external wart prevents virus transmission. However, this treatment alleviates the symptoms and eases emotional distress significantly.
How painful is genital warts removal?
The amount of pain associated with genital warts removal depends on the treatment option. In general, wart removal options come with some pain and minor complications such as soreness and swelling as a side effect.
Can you remove genital warts permanently?
No, you can’t remove genital warts permanently. It is worth understanding that genital warts are just a symptom of an HPV infection. Therefore, you are susceptible to getting recurring warts as long as you have an HPV infection.
How long do genital warts last?
These warts can take two months to two years to clear up.
What happens when genital warts are left untreated?
Leaving genital warts untreated yields different outcomes in different individuals. These warts clear up within two years in some people, while some may continue to have them for extended durations. In some cases, not treating genital warts can cause them to grow large or in big clusters.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
In the end, you can contact EuroMed Clinic Dubai if you want to prevent or treat genital warts. Our board-certified, highly trained practitioners hold the utmost skill to help you rejuvenate your intimate life. For more information, you can book a consultation using the form below.