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Genital Warts: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Oct 19, 2023

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Causes Of  Genital Warts

Symptoms Of Genital Warts

Risk Factors Of Genital Warts

Diagnosis Of Genital warts

Pap smear test

HPV Test Examination

Treatment Of Genital warts


Complications Of Genital Warts

Genital warts

Genital warts are among the most prevalent illnesses contracted during sexual activity. Practically everyone who has sexual contact will at some point in their lives contract at least one form of the human papillomavirus, or HPV. HPV is the virus that causes genital warts.

In the vaginal area, genital warts damage the moist tissues. They could look like little cauliflower-colored pimples or like microscopic pimples. Too few warts are visible most of the time.

Although certain strains of genital HPV can only produce genital warts, others can cause cancer. Certain genital HPV strains may not spread if people receive immunizations.

Women who have genital warts may develop them on the vulva, the cervix, the area between the anus and external genitalia, or the anal canal. In men, they might show up on the tip or shaft of the penis, the anus, or the scrotum.

It is possible for someone who has had oral sexual contact with an infected person to have genital warts in their throat or mouth.

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Causes Of  Genital Warts

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the cause of warts. Approximately 40 different forms of HPV affect the vaginal area.

Genital warts are mostly spread through sexual contact. Even if a wart is not visible, you can still infect your sexual partner with it.

Also Read: Vaginal Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Types, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Symptoms Of Genital Warts

Symptoms and indications of genital warts include:

  • Little brown, pink, or flesh-colored swellings in your vagina that are caused by several warts close to one another and have a cauliflower-like shape.
  • Vaginal soreness or sensitivity, as well as bleeding following sex
  • Genital warts may be so smooth and tiny as to be undetectable.
  • However, genital warts may occasionally grow into sizable clusters in someone with a suppressed immune system.

Also Read: Urethritis: Causes, Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications and Prevention

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Risk Factors Of Genital Warts

The majority of people who engage in sexual activity eventually get genital HPV infection. The following elements may increase your risk of getting an infection:

Having multiple partners and unprotected sex; getting sick from an STD before you knew about it; beginning a sexual relationship when you were young; immune system damage from HIV or drugs taken during an organ transplant.

Also Read: Hydrosalpinx: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Diagnosis Of Genital warts

Vaginal warts are often diagnosed based on appearance. On rare occasions, a biopsy might be necessary.

Pap smear test

For women, routine pelvic exams and Pap tests are essential because they can detect changes in the vaginal and cervical tissues caused by genital warts or early signs of cervical cancer.

The instrument used to hold the vagina open during a Pap test is called a speculum. The medical professional can then see the cervix, which is the entrance between the uterus and vagina. Using a long-handled tool, a small sample of cells is removed from the cervix. The cells are examined under a microscope to look for abnormalities.

HPV Test Examination

A small number of genital HPV strains have been associated with cervical cancer. A sample of cervical cells taken during a Pap test can be examined for the presence of certain cancer-causing HPV strains.

Usually, this test is only accessible to women who are thirty years of age or older. It isn't as helpful for younger women because HPV usually goes away on its own.

Also Read: Uterus Didelphys(Double Uterus): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Treatment Of Genital warts

You may not require treatment if your warts are not bothering you. You can stop an outbreak with medication or surgery if you are in pain, burning, itching, or worried that the sickness might spread.

However, warts frequently recur following therapy. How to treat the virus itself is unknown.

Medications: The following are the direct skin application therapies for vaginal warts:

  • Zyclara combined with Imiquimod or Aldara: It appears that this ointment strengthens your body's defenses against vaginal warts. Do not engage in sexual activity while the lotion is still on your body. It may cause skin irritation in your spouse and weaken the diaphragm and condoms.
  • Redness on the skin is one adverse outcome: There may also be blisters, rashes, physical aches or pains, coughs, and fatigue, possibly further adverse effects.
  • Podophyllin and podofilox (Condylox): Podophyllin, a plant-based resin, destroys the tissue that gives rise to vaginal warts. A physician makes use of this remedy. Podofilox contains the same active component but is intended for usage at home.
  • Avoid giving podofilox intravenously: Additionally, using this medication while pregnant is not suggested. One may experience pain, blisters, or mild skin irritation as adverse effects.
  • Trichloroacetic acid: This chemical treatment burns off genital warts in addition to treating internal warts. One may experience pain, blisters, or mild skin irritation as adverse effects.
  • Ginger (Cinnamomucil): This cream is used to treat external genital warts and warts in or around the anal canal. Common but mild adverse effects include pain, burning or itching sensations, and skin reddening.
  • Genital warts should not be treated with over-the-counter wart removers. These medications are not meant to be used near the vaginal area.

Also Read: Epistomy: Uses, Procedure, Types, Complications, Prevention


Surgery may be necessary for larger warts, warts that don't go away with medication, and warts that your unborn child may come into touch with after delivery. Surgery alternatives include:

  • Freezing liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy): The freezing process will cause a blister to form around your wart. As your skin heals, the lesions come off to show healthy new skin. Comfort and edema are the two side effects that occur most frequently.
  • Electrical slicing: Throughout this procedure, an electrical current is used to burn off warts. After surgery, pain and swelling are possible.
  • Surgical extraction: It is possible to remove warts surgically. Local or general anesthesia will be needed for this treatment, and you might have pain afterward.
  • Laser techniques: This technique, which uses a strong light beam, is usually reserved for large, challenging-to-treat warts due to its potential expense. Scars and pain are possible side effects.

Also Read: Urinary Tract Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Bacterial Vaginosis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Complications, Prevention, Diagnosis And Treatment

Complications Of Genital Warts

An HPV infection can result in the following complications:

  • Cancer: Cervical cancer and genital HPV infection have a strong correlation. Furthermore, certain HPV strains have been connected to cancers of the vulva, anus, penis, mouth, and throat.
  • Women should undergo regular Pap tests even though HPV infections do not always lead to cancer; this is especially important if the women have a higher risk of  HPV infections.
  • Difficulties experienced during pregnancy: Urinating can be difficult during pregnancy since warts rarely grow larger. Warts on the vaginal wall may stop the vaginal tissues from opening up during childbirth. Large warts on the vulva or in the vagina can bleed when they are stretched during childbirth.
  • Very rarely, a baby born to a woman with genital warts develops throat warts.

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