The HPV and genital warts treatment depends on the type of HPV the person carries, as the STI (sexually-transmitted infection) manifests itself differently from one person to another.
What Are Genital Warts?
Commonly caused by HPV (abbreviation for Human papilloma virus), genital warts are an affliction of the skin that can spread to numerous parts of the body, including the:
- Groin area;
- Penis and scrotum;
- Vagina, vulva and cervix;
- Mouth, throat, lips;
Depending on the person, the symptoms may vary, as there are about one hundred different types of HPV, of which 40 are directly related to the genital area.
What do they look like?
Genital warts are described as small, fleshy bumps or growths on the skin, of varying colors, mostly of irregular shapes, with the appearance of a cauliflower. The symptoms of HPV may develop within months from coming in contact with an infected person or even years.
Some persons develop acute symptoms (in certain women causing vaginal discharge, change in pH and odor, dyspareunia, etc) or may not present any symptoms whatsoever. Genital warts may appear as an outbreak within the body or on the outside, and they are regarded as problematic due to the fact that some of them can be cancerous.
Your gynecologist can suggest the best genital warts treatment, upon a close inspection and check-up. If you notice any symptoms, do not postpone a visit to your Doctor!
How do I know if I’m at risk?
Any person who is sexually active is at risk of contacting HPV and should be tested by their gynecologist to prevent any possible threats. A distinct test commonly referred to as a “Pap smear” or Papanicolaou is performed on women, by analyzing the cervix and often collecting a sample for determining any shifts in the natural state of the cells. For men, however, there is no test per se for identifying HPV, just routine tests or anal Pap tests that could determine whether or not there is a presence of the HPV virus.
Is there a cure?
An HPV vaccine is available and it is quite efficient at preventing the risk of exposure to HPV and developing genital warts. Also, the risk of contacting or developing HPV greatly diminishes within couples tested for HPV who do not have sexual intercourse with other partners.
Based on the results of the medical check-up and testing, your physician may propose different methods for treating the warts, some of which are surgical (manually cutting off the warts) or other methods such as cauterizing (burning) or cryotherapy (freezing).
Besides the above mentioned genital warts treatment options, prevention measures, like using protection during sex, should be taken as well.