What to do
A doctor or nurse can usually tell if you have genital warts just by looking at them.
If you have them you will be offered treatment either as anti-wart cream, or by freezing or laser treatment
You can take care of yourself and your partner, if you:
- Keep your genital area clean and dry
- Don't use scented soaps, bath oils or vaginal deodorants
- Use condoms when having sex - though these will protect against warts only if they cover the affected area
- Make sure your partner or partners also have a check up
Signs and Symptoms
What to look out for
Both men and women suffer the same symptoms:
- Pinkish/white cauliflower-shaped lumps on the genital area
- Warts can appear on the penis, scrotum or anus or in the vagina
- It usually takes 1-3 months from infection for warts to appear, but it can take much longer
- They may itch but are usually painless
- Not everyone who comes into contact with the virus will get warts
Long term effects
Warts often come back, even after treatment and need to be treated again.
There are some types of wart virus that may be linked to changes in cervical cells, which can lead to cancer. However, this is rare. Women with genital warts should, like all women over the age of 25, have regular cervical smear
tests every 3-5 years.
Genital warts is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
You can get genital warts in the following ways:
- Warts are caused by a virus and are spread through skin-to-skin contact
- If you have sex or genital contact with someone who has genital warts, you may develop them too
- They can be passed on during vaginal, anal or oral sex