Genital warts are small bumps (sometimes too small to be seen) that affect the moist tissues of the genital area. They are a very common type of sexually transmitted infection, caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). At least 50% of sexually active people will become infected by the HPV at some stage in their lives, although women are more likely to develop genital warts than men. While genital warts generally grown in the genital areas, they may also grow in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sex with someone who is infected.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of genital warts include bumps/swellings in the genital area, as well as itching and discomfort and bleeding during intercourse. While they are often too small to be visible, they can sometimes multiple into bigger clusters.
As genital warts are not always visible, doctors might apply a mild acetic acid solution to whiten the warts, after which he/she will view them through a colposcope (a special magnifying instrument). Other tests that may take place include:
- Pap tests which can help detect vaginal and cervical changes caused by genital warts or the early signs of cervical cancer
- HPV test- sample of cervical cells, taken during a Pap test, can be tested for these cancer-causing HPV strains.
How is it treated?
For patients who are in pain/discomfort doctors may recommend treatment to help clear an outbreak. The different types of treatments include:
- Medications: can usually applied directly to your skin by your doctor (e.g. imiquimod and Trichloroacetic acid). People should not try to treat genital warts using over the counter wart removers as they could lead to greater pain/irritation
- Surgery: For people who are pregnant, or have warts that do not respond to medication, surgery may be recommended. Surgical options include Cryotherapy (freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen), Electrocautery (using electrical current to burn off warts), surgical excision or laser treatments.
Check out our specialist doctor’s profile
Dr. Tahira Sadigova
Specialist in Obstetric Gynaecology
With her gentle manner and expert knowledge on all aspects of Obstetrics and Gynecology, it is little wonder that Dr Tahira is in great demand among the UAE’s female population. Dr Tahira has worked in many countries including Uzbekistan, Russia and Germany before she relocated to the UAE. Dr.Tahira speaks several languages English, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, Uzbekistani, Kazakhstani, Kirgizstan and Turkestan.Read more