Genital wart is a very common sexually transmitted disease caused by Human Papilloma Virus. It affects both men and women but women are more vulnerable. It is more dangerous for women because it can cause cancer of the vulva and cervix. Many don’t know they have this infection until weeks or month after they contracted it.
It is transmitted through sexual activities- vagina, anal and oral sex.
“Genital warts usually appear as a small bump or group of bumps in the genital area. They can be small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower. A healthcare provider can usually diagnose warts by looking at the genital area.”- CDC
The wart can grow on the penis and scrotum of a man. In women, it can grow on the vulva, vagina and cervix. Other part of the body where genital wart can grow are: thigh, groin and anus. If you have oral sex with an infected person, you can contract it and the wart can manifest on the lips, mouth, tongue and throat. Other symptoms that you might experience with genital wart are: vagina discharge and burning sensation in your genital.
Human papilloma virus causing genital wart can cause cancer of the penis and oropharynx as well.
OTHER THINGS THAT CAN MAKE YOU HAVE GENITAL WART ARE:
1. If you are sexually abused as a child.
2. Weak immune system
3. Children born by women who have the Human Papilloma Virus infection- Genital Wart.
HOW WILL YOUR DOCTOR MAKE THE DIAGNOSIS OF GENITAL WART?
Your doctor will ask you some questions related to your sexual activities and examined you. The diagnosis can be made by looking at the wart.
For women, your doctor might ask you to do PAP SMEAR. This test is used to determine if the infection cause by the Human Papilloma virus has already gotten to the precancerous stage in the cervix.
Sometimes, genital wart can go without treatment and some other times, your physician might adopt any of the following treatment options- MEDICAL and SURGICAL.
Medical options are: Topical application of imiquimod (Aldara), podophyllin and podofilox (Condylox) and trichloroacetic acid, or TCA.
Surgical options are:
Electrocautery: Use of electric current to burn the wart.
Excision: ‘Cutting’ off the growth surgically.
Cryosurgery: Freezing of the wart.
Remember that Genital Wart is caused by Human Papilloma Virus. This virus is a vaccine preventable disease from age of 9 years to 45 years, you can get the vaccine. The vaccine is more effective if one has NOT been infected.
Use of condom too can protect you from genital wart.
Limit oral sex!
Protect your partner by opening up. This will also prevent you from getting re-infected once you are treated.