Genital warts are one of the most common symptoms of the Human Papillomavirus, but what are they like and what causes them? And above all, how to prevent its appearance and what is its treatment?
One of the basic aspects of our health is the one related to our sexuality. As you know, the spread of diseases can occur from sexual contact, the so-called STIs (sexually transmitted infections) or STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Although the most widespread is AIDS/HIV, there are many other STIs from which we must protect ourselves, and for this it is best to be well informed.
This time we will focus on telling you everything about the so-called genital warts or condylar, which are the result of the infection of the human papillomavirus (HPV).
For this we will explain what these genital warts are, what the causes of their appearance are, what symptoms they present, what medical treatments exist and – above all – how we can prevent this sexually transmitted infection.
What are genital warts?
Genital warts or venereal warts are small bumps that appear on the skin, with a rough appearance, soft consistency and generally with the same coloration as meat.
Although they can resemble other warts that appear in other parts of our body, in this case they are located, as their name indicates, in the genital area of both men and women. In the case of women, it is important to be careful to carry out regular gynecological check-ups, since they can occur in places where we cannot detect them with the naked eye, such as the cervix or inside the vagina.
Genital warts can also appear in the groin or on the thighs. In the case of unprotected anal sex, HPV infection could lead to the appearance of these warts around or inside the anus. If the infection is in oral sex, this can lead to the appearance of venereal warts on the lips, tongue, palate or throat.
What are the symptoms of the Human Papilloma Virus?
As we explained, the main symptom is the appearance of genital or venereal warts. However, this may be accompanied by other less common symptoms. Among them we can mention, in women, an abnormal increase in vaginal discharge or bleeding during or after sexual intercourse. In men, severe itching of the penis, scrotum, or anus area. Increased moisture may also appear in the area affected by warts.
It is important to know that certain types of HPV can lead to the development of anal cancer and, in women, cervical cancer. Therefore, do not forget how important it is to prevent and also periodically check with a specialist.
Why do genital warts appear?
We have already mentioned that these warts are transmitted through the sexual route. That is, having contact with the genital parts of an infected person is what causes the infection.
It is worth clarifying something that we must keep in mind, many people have the virus but not the symptoms, so by not having warts or any other indication of the infection they may not know its existence. However, they are transmitters of the virus, and can cause the infection of another person. Another fact is that warts can appear several months or even several years after infection.
How can we prevent the spread of genital warts?
This is the most important point to keep in mind, prevention. Proper care can allow us to have a healthy and full sexual life. Although we cannot 100% avoid the chances of contagion (this is only possible by not having any type of sexual relationship), we can do a lot to reduce it to a minimum.
One way to lower your chances is to use a condom or condom (either male or female). However, as the virus or warts can be on the skin of other areas such as the groin or thighs, it is not a total protection. It should also be used from the beginning to the end of sexual intercourse.
It is also recommended to reduce the chances by maintaining a single sexual partner, and ideally who we know has been tested and does not have this or other STDs. Of course also using a condom.
There are also injections that immunize against some varieties of the Human Papilloma Virus, preventing the appearance of cervical cancer and that is usually applied to women from 9 or 11 years of age. To do this, check with your doctor if you or your daughters can receive this vaccine.
How are genital warts treated?
After diagnosis, various treatments can be indicated, either through medications, with surgical procedures that can be cry-surgery, laser, electro cautery or removal.