Genital Warts are warts on the skin of your genitals (vagina, penis) and perianal area (the skin around the anus) caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is very common. In fact, more than 75% of people will have this type of infection at some point in their life.
Are there any symptoms?
Genital Warts may feel like lumps and bumps around your genitals and anus
Genital Warts are usually painless
How do you catch Genital Warts?
You can get Genital Warts through skin-to-skin contact during vaginal or anal sex . Genital warts are caused by a number of different strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). They are most contagious when warts are present on the skin, but it’s possible to get warts from someone who carries the virus, but doesn’t have any visible warts.
The types of HPV that cause genital warts are totally different from the types related to cervical cancer.
How do you prevent Genital Warts?
Condoms help stop you catching or spreading Genital Warts. But remember, they don’t cover all the areas where the Genital Warts can be found
There is a vaccine available that protects you from HPV, the virus that causes genital warts. This vaccine also helps protect against cervical and anal cancer too, so it’s worth looking into with your doctor
See your doctor if you think you may have genital warts
There is a vaccine available that protects you from HPV, the virus that causes genital warts
Testing and treatment for Genital Warts
Warts are diagnosed by sight – no swabs or blood tests required. Once a doctor confirms that you have Genital Warts, a home DIY treatment will usually be prescribed. This involves using a small cotton bud to dab a chemical solution to the lumps which makes them tingle and eventually fall off. They can also be frozen off.
Remember though, treatment isn’t a cure. The wart will disappear, but HPV can remain in the base layers of the skin until your own immune system gets rid of it for good. If warts reappear, it may be that HPV isn’t fully gone yet (it will go eventually) or it may be that you’ve got a new infection.