Genital warts are a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). Everyone wants to protect themselves and their partners from contracting any sexually transmitted disease. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself and others is to learn about the disease. Genital warts can be spread easily simply by contact, skin to skin. There are ways to reduce the chances of contracting genital warts and treatments available if you do contract the condition. Talk to your physician about getting the HPV vaccine which can protect against the two types of HPV that are responsible for up to 90% of all genital warts.
Signs and Symptoms of Genital Warts
- Genital warts are flesh colored; they are soft bumps that can sometimes resemble cauliflower.
- Often they grown in more than one place and then begin to cluster into a larger mass.
- Although they may itch, they are usually painless.
- Genital warts may be seen or felt in several places such as inside the vaginia, on the external vulva, the cervix, anus, urethra or penis. Also it is possible to have genital warts inside the mouth, on the tongue, lips, palate or inside the throat but this is uncommon.
- Genital warts can develop any time of exposure, the usual time is 6 weeks to 6 months, but this can be sooner or longer. If you think you were exposed, see your physician.
- If your immune system is weakened or if you are pregnant the development of genital warts is more rapid.
Causes of Genital Warts
Genital warts are caused by certain strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are many different strains of HPV and some cause other types of warts on various parts of the body. It is believed that two strains of the virus HPV 6 and HPV 11 are the strains that are responsible for causing genital warts. These types of warts are contagious and can be transmitted from one person to another through skin to skin contact, usually during sexual intercourse or foreplay.
Treatment of Genital Warts
There are treatments available for genital warts. You can have them removed but you should bear in mind that the treatments can remove the warts but not the virus that causes them. The warts may return after treatment at any time. This STD can be spread even if no warts are visible, but treatment has been determined to lower the risks of passing the infection to another partner.
Often our body’s own immune system will fight off the virus if you have the patience to wait it out, but not always. If they are uncomfortable or interfering with sex you may choose to have them removed in a number of different ways. They can be frozen (cryotherapy), burned (electrocauterization), removed with laser surgery, or with the use of medications either topical or injected. Speak to your physician about the options available in your area.