Genital Warts- Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Genital warts are common sexually transmitted diseases that result in soft growths near the genitals. The skin growths can cause discomfort, pain, and itching. Genital warts can occur in both men and women. But it is more dangerous when it happens to women. Genital warts increase the risk of cervical cancer.

If you have genital warts you will be able to see skin growth in the genital area. They are small and feel a little bumpy. You can either have one wart or a cluster of warts in the genitals. This disease usually occurs in people who are sexually active. If you have oral sex with a person having genital warts then you may have the infection on your lips, mouth, tongue or throat as well.

Causes

Genital warts are mainly caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). This gets transmitted from skin to skin. Various strains on the HPV cause genital warts. Genital warps can get transmitted after having intercourse with an infected person. If you have oral sex with someone having genital warts, then also you can get this infection. However, it doesn’t happen by touching one’s genitals with hands.

Diagnosis

Your doctor may do a physical examination of the genitals to find out if you have genital warts. A pelvic examination can also be done. An acidic solution is applied so that warts become visible and proper diagnosis can be done. Pap smear test is also performed. In this test, cells from the cervix are taken out to examine.

Treatment

Genital warts often go away with time. But it may reappear. There are some over-the-counter medicines that can be helpful. The doctors may prescribe you some topical treatments like trichloroacetic, podophyllin, etc. Aldara may help too. Laser treatment, cryosurgery, and other treatment options are also available.

It is recommended that women should take the Pap smears test every 6 months at least. This way the changes in the cervix can be monitored. If there is cervix cancer, it can be detected earlier. There is an HPV vaccine that you can take to protect yourself from genital warts. The vaccine Cervarix can protect you from cervical cancer.

You should always maintain proper hygiene. You must use a condom during sex to reduce the chance of having genital warts.Whenever you see any abnormal growth in your genitals or the surrounding areas, you must consult a doctor immediately. If over-the-counter medicines don’t work, you should visit a doctor for a thorough check-up and start your treatment immediately.