Genital Warts: Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
What are genital warts?
Genital warts that appear on the genitals tend to be itchy, painful, and annoying. They can trigger inflammation and discomfort like other sexually transmitted infections that develops blisters or sores on the genitals. Generally, the virus that triggers genital warts is HPV or human papillomavirus. This infection largely affects sexually active individuals.
Both men and women can acquire this infection after unprotected sexual activity. It can develop on the anus, vulva, cervix, scrotum, and parts of the penis. Review the following list of symptoms that genital warts induce.
- Swollen parts of the genital region
- The appearance of cauliflower-like warts
- Itchiness of the vagina and penis
- Inflammation of genital skin
- Bleeding during sexual activity
Some forms of this infection are not visible to the eyes. However, the usual appearances of this infection are large and, sometimes, in clusters. When you experience any of the signs above, talk to your healthcare professional immediately for urgent treatment.
Genital Warts triggers?
As mentioned, a specific virus triggers this condition. It is called the human papillomavirus or HPV. While this virus often infects women, it also does to men. It spreads through unprotected sexual intercourse. It can be a sexual activity involving men to women or men to men.
It is also essential to note that the HPV strain that causes genital warts is different from the one that triggers warts on the hands or other areas of the body.
Susceptibility to the infection
The following are the reasons why HPV spreads and genital warts develop:
- Unsafe sex with different partners
- Presence of other types of STI
- Sexually active even before adulthood
- Has HIV or AIDS
What are the complications?
Review the following list of complications associated with genital warts and HPV infection:
- Cervical cancer – The number of women involved in cervical cancer increases every year. Without proper treatment, an HPV infection can cause cervical cancer.
- Risk of childbirth – When proper treatment is missing, genital warts can grow their size. This is highly dangerous during pregnancy. Enlarged warts on the vagina can block the passageway during delivery. Additionally, the infection can also transmit into the baby.
Other complications of genital warts include anal cancer, throat cancer, and penile cancer.
It can go away after some time. However, the virus that triggers the condition stays. That is one reason why treating the symptoms immediately can help inhibit the transmission of infection to other people. Some of the treatments available are TCA (trichloroacetic acid) and Aldara (imiquimod).
Your healthcare professional may also recommend minor surgery to remove warts entirely. The procedures include cryosurgery, laser treatments, and electrocautery. If you prefer one of these procedures, ask your healthcare professional for more information about the surgery.
Prevention and Vaccination
Like other STIs, some ways to prevent HPV infection and genital warts is to use protective barriers during sex. One example is using condoms to prevent the infection from entering your genitals.
Thankfully, a vaccine is available to protect yourself from the infection entirely. This HPV vaccine is called Gardasil 9, which is suitable for individuals 9 to 45 years old. It helps you to prevent cervical cancer from developing at a later age. Additionally, it prevents genital warts from developing.
Keeping yourself protected from any infection is your responsibility. Always use protection when engaging in sexual activity. This way, you are protecting yourself and your sexual partner. Furthermore, get your HPV vaccine today to stay guarded against the infection.