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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What are genital warts?
Genital warts are a very common sexually-transmitted infection that cause small painless lumps near the genitals.
What causes genital warts?
Genital warts are caused by an infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually-transmitted infection. Genital warts are very contagious. The virus that causes the warts can be spread by direct contact with the skin, which usually occurs during vaginal …
How are genital warts diagnosed?
Your doctor will usually make a diagnosis of genital warts after a visual examination of the warts. Sometimes they may take a small sample of tissue from a wart and send it off to a laboratory for testing to confirm the diagnosis.
How are genital warts treated?
Treatments your doctor may consider are medications, such as podophyllotoxin or imiquimod, to destroy the wart tissue or trigger the body's immune system to fight off the infection and remove the wart. Cryotherapy is a procedure that uses liquid nitrogen to …
Do genital warts increase my risk of cervical cancer?
The strains of HPV that cause visible genital warts do not increase the risk of cervical cancer.
Who gets genital warts?
Anyone who is sexually active can get the virus that causes genital warts. It is estimated that around 80% of adults who are sexually active will have the infection that leads to genital warts at some point in their lives. People are also more likely to get genital …
Can genital warts be prevented?
You can reduce your risk of getting the virus that causes genital warts by practicing safe sex, which means using a barrier, such as a condom. However, it is important to remember that condoms only protect the area of skin that they cover, so even with a …
How do I know if I have HPV?
There is a test available which can detect some types of HPV as it is possible to have HPV without developing any symptoms. This test is not used very often because the virus usually goes away by itself.
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 19 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Votes: 140 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Genital warts