Genital Warts Health FAQ
What Are Genital Warts?
Genital warts are small fleshy lumps that grow around the anal and genital regions in both men and women. They are rarely found in the mouth. Genital warts are caused by infection with the genital wart virus – human papilloma virus (HPV)
How Do I Get Genital Warts?
Infection with the HPV is common. The virus is usually sexually transmitted and, therefore, can occur any time after your first sexual experience. It can also be passed from mother to baby during delivery.
Are Both Sexual Partners Likely To Get Genital Warts?
About two-thirds of sexual partners of men and women with genital warts will develop warts themselves within nine months. Those who do not develop obvious warts may still harbor the virus silently.
Condoms may offer some protection against contracting this virus. Limited use of condoms, or condom use after genital warts are diagnosed in one partner will offer little or no protection from infection for the other partner. If both partners already have genital warts, then you will not re-infect each other every time you have sex.
Why Does My Partner Not Have Genital Warts When I Have Them?
Many people infected with the genital wart virus will not show any visible signs of infection. This is often referred to as subclinical or latent infection. Such an infection may or may not develop into a visible infection at a later date. It is still unclear how often people with non-visible genital wart virus infect others.
Can I Get Genital Warts From The Warts On My (Or Partner’s) Hands?
There are a number of different wart viruses. The types found in the genital area are different from those found on the hands or other parts of the body. Warts from the hands will not infect the genitals and vice versa.
Should I Have Other Tests If I Have Genital Warts?
If you have genital warts, you should also have a general sexual health check. Sexually transmitted infections can often occur together, so having genital warts may increase your risk of another sexually transmitted infection.
Should My Partner Have A Check As Well?
It is always sensible for your partner to have a sexual health check if you have recently been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.
Will I Have To Use Condoms All The Time Now?
If you have a regular partner, using condoms once genital warts have been diagnosed will do little to protect your partner or you from this virus. If, however, you do not have a regular partner, you should always use condoms to protect yourself and partner(s) from other sexually transmitted infections.
Yes. Genital warts can be treated. Common treatments are:
- freezing the warts
- burning the warts with electrical heat or laser energy
- applying certain creams or liquids
- the safe, FDA registered homeopathic relief approach
Even when the warts are removed, some of the virus may stay alive in the skin and eventually cause more warts. This means that more than one treatment may be needed to get rid of all visible warts.
Do Genital Warts Recur After Treatment?
When genital warts are treated, it is only the visible lumps and bumps that are removed. The genital wart virus is still present in the skin and visible warts may recur later.
Sometimes, other illnesses can be enough to trigger a recurrence of genital warts. Genital warts can occur in pregnancy, even in women with no previous history of them. They can also recur in pregnant women who had them treated before.
Will The Virus Ever Go Away?
It is unclear if the latent genital wart virus is eventually removed by the body or if it remains permanently.
Do Genital Warts Cause Cancer?
The genital wart virus (HPV) has been implicated in certain cancers. The most well documented of these is cervical cancer.
Certain types of genital wart virus are consistently found in women with cervical cancer. It appears that the genital wart virus triggers the formation of abnormal cells in cervical skin. These abnormal cells can, in some cases, develop into cancer over a period of time.
Other factors may also increase your chances of developing cervical cancer. For example, smoking has been shown to increase the chances of abnormal cell development and/or cancer in those with the genital wart virus.
There is also evidence of low, but increasing, levels of anal cancer in men who have sex with men, particularly those who are HIV positive. HIV positive men who have sex with men with a history of anal warts should have smears taken periodically.
How Often Should I Have A Smear Test If I Have Had Genital Warts?
There is no evidence to suggest that women with genital warts need more frequent smear tests. But if a woman has a history of abnormal smears, then this may indicate a need for more frequent tests.