Genital Warts – Not the End of the World

Understanding Genital Warts

Genital warts are a condition caused by the human papilloma virus. They are easy to recognize on appearance and have actually become an all too common occurrence in physician's offices. They can be prevented, especially since they are a sexually transmitted disease.

Genital warts commonly occur in clusters, but they can appear as a single wart. They are located only in the genital area. Most are found on the external genitalia, but they can be found internally as well. The majority of cases do not cause discomfort, but they can be located on areas that make them sensitive to touch.

How they present themselves and how are they transmitted

It is important to note that some patients who are infected with genital warts do not develop clusters of warts. There have been many cases where a person has only developed a single wart through the duration of their infection.

The color of genital warts varies and in most cases, they do not bleed, even though they can in some cases if they are irritated. The appearance of genital warts may be a surprise, especially since the virus that causes them, HPV, does not have any symptoms and us usually only tested for during a pelvic examination.

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, which means that it is possible for them to be passed from mother to baby as she is giving birth, though this is rare. To avoid becoming infected with HPV, you should always use condoms. Using condoms does not guarantee that the virus will not be contracted. This is because it can be transmitted from skin to skin contact in areas the condom does not cover.

Genital Warts May Be Gender Dependent

While condoms are an effective way to reduce the risk of contracting the HPV virus that causes genital warts, studies have shown that females are more likely to contract the virus from their partner, even if condoms are used.

While genital warts are not curable, the virus causing them usually flushes from the system within 24 months, which causes the warts to completely go away. It has not been thoroughly studied as to whether or not people who have previously had genital warts are at risk for being carriers after the virus has passed, so it is important to use condoms even after the virus has cleared your system.

How likely are you to contract Genital Warts and what to do if your partner has them

It is currently estimated that sexual contact with someone who has genital warts puts you at a 70% risk of developing the condition yourself, even if there are no visible warts. If your partner has genital warts, it is important to talk to your health care provider about the various ways you can avoid contracting the disease yourself. There are measures that can be taken, including covering skin that is not covered by condoms, to prevent contracting the condition.

Last Reviewed:
March 08, 2017
Last Updated:
September 21, 2017