Genital Warts

Overview

Genital warts is a sexually transmitted disease caused by one of several strains of the human papillomavirus, also called HPV. Contracted frequently, it is estimated that more than 50 percent of the sexually active population will be afflicted with this disease. Most commonly spread through sexual contact, it can also be spread from mother to child during birth. There are a number of ways to treat genital warts, however doctors recommend prevention, vaccination and regular checkups with a physician.

Symptoms and Dignosis

Once human papillomaviaus enters the body, it may cause genital warts to manifest as small swellings on and around the genitals. These warts may be flesh colored or gray. The warts may be singular, or grouped together to form cauliflower-like bumps. Genital warts may also cause itching and discomfort of the sexual organs and bleeding during intercourse. Quite often however, genital warts produce no symptoms or are too small to be seen. Thus, it is important to be seen by a physician when exposure to HPV is suspected or when engaging in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. After a formal diagnosis has been made, genital warts can be diagnosed in several ways. For instance, a visual inspection may be all that is necessary if the warts are large enough to be seen with the naked eye. If the warts are not visible a doctor may choose to use a solution to whiten warts so they can be seen by a microscope. A pap test may be also be performed on female patients to detect HPV in the vaginal canal and on the cervix.

Causes

Genital warts is most commonly spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. This disease can also be spread from an infected mother to her child during birth. Many times, the body’s immune response is strong enough to kill the human papillomavirus, or HPV, but this is not always the case. Persons who have sex at a young age, have unprotected sex, or have sex with multiple partners are more likely to contract genital warts.  Continue reading for Prevention information . . .

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