Genital Warts - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Genital warts are the soft growths or warts that appear on the genital region, caused by a virus called human papillomavirus. They occur in both men and women. But women are more vulnerable to its complications. Genital warts cause pain, itching, and discomfort. They are sexually transmitted infections caused by low-risk human papillomavirus. Higher risk strains of HPV cause cervical dysplasia and cancer. 


Genital wart is the most common sexually transmitted disease in sexually active people. However, women are more vulnerable to it as it may cause cancer of the vulva and cervix in them. It can be treated by medicines but it may come back anytime. Therefore, it is essential to get rid of infection to get rid of it. A vaccine can also help prevent it. Usually, genital warts grow on the moist area of the genitals and have a cauliflower-like appearance. They look like small colored fleshy bumps. However, sometimes they are so small to be visible to the naked eye. 



Symptoms 


In men, genital warts can occur in;


  • On the tip or shaft of the penis the scrotum or the anus


In women, they can occur in;


  • Vulva- the wall of the vagina

  • Anal canal 

  • Cervix


It can also develop in the mouth or throat of a person who has had sexual contact with an infected person. 


The signs and symptoms of genital wart are;


  • Small and flesh-colored warts in your genital area

  • Brown or pink swellings in your genital area

  • A cauliflower-like shape caused by several warts close together

  • Itching or discomfort in your genital area

  • Bleeding during and after intercourse


Sometimes you may not be able to see the genital wart, still, they can cause the following symptoms in women. 


  • Vaginal discharge

  • Itching 

  • Bleeding 

  • Burning


Genital warts when enlarged, can become more uncomfortable and painful. 


Causes 


The main cause of genital warts is a virus known as the human papillomavirus. It has more than 40 strains. They are sexually transmitted infections caused by the low-risk human papillomavirus. Higher risk strains cause cervical dysplasia and cancer. It is the most common sexually transmitted disease in sexually active people. However, women are more vulnerable to it as it may cause cancer of the vulva and cervix in them.


Risk factors 


Genital warts can even spread when they are invisible. People who are sexually active can get it. Almost always they do spread during intercourse. The risk of getting them increases when;


  • You have had unprotected sex with multiple partners

  • You have had another sexually transmitted infection

  • You have had sex with a partner whose sexual history you don't know

  • If you become sexually active at a young age

  • Having a compromised immune system, such as from HIV or drugs from an organ transplant


Conclusion 


Genital warts are the soft growths or warts that appear on the genital region, caused by a virus called human papillomavirus. They occur in both men and women. But women are more vulnerable to its complications. Genital warts cause pain, itching, and discomfort. They are sexually transmitted infections caused by low-risk human papillomavirus. Higher risk strains cause cervical dysplasia and cancer. It is the most common sexually transmitted disease in sexually active people. However, women are more vulnerable to it as it may cause cancer of the vulva and cervix in them. It can be treated by medicines but it may come back anytime. Usually, genital warts grow on the mist area of the genitals and have a cauliflower-like appearance. They look like small colored fleshy bumps. However, sometimes they are so small to be visible to the naked eye.


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