Genital Warts (HPV)

GENITAL HERPES itching

Last Updated August 23rd, 2019

Overview

A number of diseases can be contracted by means of sexually transmitted infections. These include chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. Patients do not always show symptoms of the infection, as a result of which they may be unaware of the possibility of passing on the infection to others. This is particularly true in the case of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide.

There are several strains of HPV known to cause disease in humans and they can even cause cancer. In fact, cervical cancer in women is nearly always attributable to infection with certain high-risk strains of HPV. Some strains are known to produce cancer at other sites such as the vagina and anus. Low-risk strains are those that do not cause cancer. Some of these are capable of producing warts in various parts of the body including the genitalia. Not all strains of HPV are acquired by means of sexual contact, but those that produce genital warts certainly are.

What Are Genital Warts?

GENITAL HERPES virusGenital warts are soft, abnormal growths that develop in the skin and mucosal lining of the genital regions in both men and women. The virus responsible for this is transmitted by means of sexual intercourse with an infected individual.

These warts can be painful and extremely uncomfortable. Left undisturbed, they may resolve on their own. However, it is also possible that they might grow or increase in number.

Genital warts can also appear in children and this naturally raises the suspicion of sexual abuse. However, it is also possible that these may have arisen as a result of an infection acquired from the mother during childbirth.

Why Do They Appear?

Studies have indicated that HPV infection is highly prevalent across the world, so much so that most sexually active individuals have been exposed to at least one strain of the virus at some time or the other. However, this does not always lead to complications such as genital warts. As many as 40 or more strains of HPV are capable of causing infections in the anogenital tract. In about 95% of instances, genital warts are caused by the strains HPV6 and HPV11. The direct cause of infection is sexual contact with an infected person. This includes vaginal, oral or anal intercourse as well as any other form of skin-to-skin sexual contact. One is capable of transmitting the infection even if one is asymptomatic or having subclinical symptoms.

Certain factors are known to increase the risk of developing genital warts:

  • Those under 30 years of age are at a higher risk.
  • One is most likely to contract the infection in the period soon after one becomes sexually active.
  • Having a weakened immunity increases the risk. This may be as a result of HIV/AIDS, taking cancer treatment or taking immunosuppressant medications as part of organ transplantation.
  • Being born to a mother who had the infection at the time of delivery is another means of acquiring the infection.
  • A personal history of other sexually transmitted infections increases the likelihood of also having HPV infection.
  • Having multiple sexual partners or having intercourse with a person who has had multiple sexual partners.
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse.

What Are The Symptoms of Genital Warts?

GENITAL HERPES itchingHPV infection is often asymptomatic. In those individuals who display symptoms, the wart may not appear for some weeks after contracting the infection. In fact, symptoms may not appear for years after the virus has been acquired. The wart may be flesh-colored or pigmented. It may be flat or it may have an irregular surface textured rather like the head of a cauliflower. Sometimes, these are so small that they are not clearly visible. These growths may appear singly or in clusters.

  • A soft, bumpy growth in the mucous membranes of the genitals. In women, these may be present in inside the vulva, urethra, vagina or even in the cervix. In men, the penis or scrotum may be affected. Both sexes can develop warts in or around the anus, in the region of the groin, perineum or the inner thighs. Warts may also appear on the lips, tongue or even the throat in case the infection has been contracted by means of oral intercourse.
  • Pain, itching or burning sensation at the affected site.
  • Discomfort, pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse.
  • Vaginal or penile discharge.
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods.
  • Difficulty in swallowing, in the case of warts in the throat.

Look no further than these instant and safe measures to get freedom from genital warts.

Can There Be Any Complications?

The strains HPV6 and HPV11, usually responsible for causing genital warts, are not normally considered high-risk strains. In other words, they are not normally known to cause cancer. They are, however, linked with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a disease that involves the formation of benign growths in the respiratory passages leading to the lungs.

A person having genital warts caused by low-risk HPV strains may also be infected with other strains of HPV which could be high-risk ones. There is also the possibility of other concurrent STIs.

If a pregnant woman has genital warts, she can pass on the infection to her child as it passes through the birth canal during delivery. The newborn may develop severe infections or even permanent disabilities as a result of the mother’s infection. In order to avoid exposing the fetus to the virus, the mother may be advised to undergo a Caesarean section. The mother may even experience other complications such as reduced elasticity of the vaginal canal as a result of a substantial internal wart.

How Are Genital Warts Diagnosed?

There are no diagnostic tests that can determine whether or not a person has acquired the HPV infection. It is important to assess the patient’s medical history and sexual history for indications pointing to HPV.

Physical examination with the help of magnification can help accurately identify warts in the genital area. Warts themselves may be mistaken for hemorrhoids or skin tags. Hence, it is important to rule out these other possibilities. A biopsy may be conducted in order to obtain a confirmation.

Those diagnosed with genital warts are recommended to also undergo screening for cervical cancer.

Treatment & Prevention

GENITAL HERPES safetyThe treatment of genital warts is mainly done either with the help of medications or by surgery.

  • Medications: The topical ointments used to treat genital warts include imiquimod (boosts immune system), podophyllin ( destroys genital warts tissues),  and TCA or Tri-Chloro Acetic acid ( chemically burns and removes the wart).  These medicines have to be prescribed by a doctor after a careful diagnosis of the genital wart. OTC ointments should not be used to treat genital warts.
  • Surgery: If the warts are larger and it is not possible to treat them by topical ointments alone, surgery might be considered. The most commonly used surgical methods include cryotherapy ( liquid nitrogen used to freeze and remove the wart), electrocautery (use of electric currents to remove warts), and laser treatments.

Genital warts can be prevented by following these precautionary measures:

  • Get vaccinated for the HPV.
  • Practice safe sex by using condoms or dental dams.
  • Avoid sexual contact of any sort with an HPV infected person (if he/she has warts on their mouth or genital area, refrain from any intimate activities).
  • Refrain from consuming tobacco. Tobacco consumption weakens your immunity and thus makes you more susceptible to STIs.
  • Discuss the sexual history of your partner before indulging in any form of sexual contact. If your partner has been diagnosed with an STI, get yourself screened too.

Facts

  • Studies indicate that 3 out of every 4 adult, in the reproductive age, have been affected with at least one sexually transmitted infection such as the genital warts.
  • The HPV or the Human Papilloma Virus infects more than 6 million Americans every year, half of which lie in the age group of 15-25 years.

Facts

  • Cervical cancer, which kills almost 500,000 women every year across the globe, is also caused by the HPV.
  • In most cases, (roughly 90%), the HPV disappears spontaneously within 2 years after the genital wart infection.

Facts

  • Though such cases are rare, genital warts can spread from an infected mother to the newborn child.

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Seek immediate medical help the moment you see symptoms of genital warts.
  • Always use protection when indulging in any form of sexual contact. Inform your partner/s if you have been diagnosed with genital warts.
  • Realize that genital warts don’t pop up immediately after sexual contact with an infected person. The incubation period of the virus varies from 2-12 months.
Don'ts
  • Try to remove or cut the wart out of the skin by yourself. It can cause excessive bleeding, painful, and more serious infections.
  • Indulge in sexual contact if you have a serious case of genital warts. Wait till the treatment completes.
  • Attempt to treat genital warts with the help of OTC wart treatments, regardless of how promising they appear.

 

 

 

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Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody (tTG) Test Transglutaminase is an enzyme present in our body and is involved in protein metabolism. A tTg test is…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
The complete “what to eat” guide for gluten intolerance Does eating breads and pastas often makes you nauseous? Gluten intolerance is a common reason why you might…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
hepatitis B envelope antigen
Hepatitis B Envelope Antigen (HBeAg) The HBeAg or hepatitis B envelope antigen test is a screening test used to diagnose the onset of…
dhea adrenal
Androstenedione Test Androstenedione is produced by the adrenal gland, the test of the levels of Androstenedione helps in the evaluation…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
Tattoo Aftercare: The best practices to follow once you get inked Planning getting permanently inked? Make sure you follow these critical tattoo aftercare techniques to avoid infectious agents attacking…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
immunoglobulin M
Immunoglobulin M Test Immunoglobulin M is the largest and the first produced antibody which helps in the prevention or fighting of…
shoudler exercises
Keep your shoulders pain-free with these shoulder exercises Shoulder exercises are important in order to prevent chronic back and neck pain. Learn more about how you…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
edamame
Edamame: How healthy are these green baby beans? Edamame or "immature" soybeans are soft and easily digestable forms of soybeans that are great as an eveyday…
Peanut Butter: A spread of nutrients on your morning toast With tons of nutrients and powerful antioxidants swirling in every scoop, peanut butter is truly the one thing…
Beware of these common foods that cause high bodily inflammation! Maybe its the long list of inflammatory foods in your diet that is making you frequently sick. Find…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
Did you know drinking alkaline water could be the healthier choice for you? Ever wondered how safe is your drinking water in terms of pH? Recent studies have revealed that Alkaline…
Hibiscus: Nourish your beauty and health with these vibrant blooms Hibiscus is a trumpet shaped flower found abundantly in tropical countries. It has been historically used for its…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…