Genital Warts: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Genital warts or Condylomata acuminata are flesh-colored or gray growths which are found in the pubic area in both men and women. It is also an infection in the mucous membrane of the rectum, cervix, and vagina. We have the male genital warts and the female genital warts.

Genital warts are symptoms of a contagious sexually transmitted disease caused by some types of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The type of HPV that causes Genital wart is highly transmissible compared to the other type of wart. Genital warts are flesh-colored or gray swellings (bumps) in the genital area or pubic region of the patient. They may also have a cauliflower-like shape.

Symptoms of Genital Warts

Genital Warts may occur singly, but more often we see them occurring in clusters. They may be found anywhere in the genital or anal area, though they are frequently found on the outer or external surface of the body like the penile shaft, scrotum, or labia majora of the vagina.

They also occur on internal surfaces of the opening of the urethra, inside the vagina, on the cervix, or in the anus. They may be hard or soft; sometimes they may bleed.

Other symptoms include: genital itching or discomfort, swellings in the genital area, vaginal discharge, pain and burning sensation in the pubic region.

Causes of Genital warts

The infection causes genital Warts with a subgroup of the Human Papilloma Viruses (HPVs). HPV types 6 and 11 are most frequently the cause of genital warts. They are also indirectly associated with the use of birth control pills due to increased sexual contact without the use of barrier protection, having multiple sex partners and someone having sex at an early age.

Treatment of Genital Warts

The major essence for treating this is to get rid of visible warts and also reduce the number of viruses present. The following are the treatments used to get rid of genital warts:

  • Tropical medication which involves the use of creams like podophyllin and podofilox or a liquid that is applied onto warts for a few days. Treatment may continue for several weeks.
  • Cryotherapy which involves the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze The freezing will cause a blister to form around warts, and as the skin heals, the lesion will fall off, thereby allowing new skin to appear.
  • Surgery can be done which will lead to the excision of the warts by the use of a local anesthetic
  • A concentrated beam of light can also be used to destroy the warts, called “Laser treatment”.

Alternative Treatments

Another option is the use of an antiviral drug called “Interferon alpha”. This drug is injected directly into the wart to remove it. Electrodesiccation can also be used to remove the genital wart by using electric current to destroy genital warts. The treatments are not painful but may sometimes be uncomfortable with some sores on the skin and irritation.

It can spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. It can also spread during oral, genital, or oral sex with an infected partner.

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