What you need to know about genital warts

What are genital warts?

Genital warts are small bump-like growths that usually grow in or around the genital area. They mostly look like pieces of cauliflower and cause discomfort, burns and itching.

Genital warts can be found in the vulva, the walls of the vagina, the area between the external genitals and the anus, the anal canal, and the cervix. They can also be found on the penis, the scrotum, or the anus (in men).

They can also grow in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sexual contact with an infected person.

Symptoms of genital warts

  • Skin-coloured swellings in the genital area
  • A cauliflower-like shape caused by several warts
  • Itching or discomfort in the genital area
  • Bleeding during intercourse 

What causes genital warts

Genital warts are caused by a common sexually transmitted infection known as Human Papillomavirus (HPV). You can rarely get them from a non-sexual contact.

What to do to keep warts from spreading

  • Always keep the genital area clean and dry. …
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after touching the area with genital warts
  • Do not scratch the warts
  • Avoid sexual activity until the warts have completely healed
  • Use condoms during sexual intercourse

How to prevent genital warts

HPV vaccines can protect against many genital-wart-causing strains of HPV.

Vaccination:  You should take vaccines to decrease the risk of certain cancers and precancerous lesions in males and females.

Genital warts can be treated, and they can also be removed surgically.

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