Genital warts (also known as Condylomata acuminata venereal warts, and anogenital warts) is a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV infection is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact during oral, genital, or anal sex with an infected partner. In 90% of cases, it is caused by HPV subtypes 6 and 11. Warts are the most easily recognized symptom of HPV infection.
Other subtypes of HPV can cause cervical cancer and some anal cancers. It should be remembered, however, that the HPV subtypes that cause genital warts are not the same as those that can cause genital or anal cancers.
HPV infection is noted in over 27% of over-all sexually active people, and has risen to 45% among the 14-19 year old age group.
Causes of HPV Infection
Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 100 subtypes of HPVs that have been identified; about 40 of these types have the potential to infect the genital area.
About 90% of genital warts are caused by two specific types of the virus, namely HPV-6 HPV-11. These two HPV types are considered “low risk,” meaning they have a low cancer-causing potential. Other HPV types are known causes of cervical cancers in women, namely HPV types 16, 18, 31, and 45.
Common skin warts are not the same as genital warts, however they are caused by different HPV types.
The viral particles are able to penetrate the skin through microscopic abrasions in the genital area, which occur during sexual activity. Once cells are invaded by HPV, a quiet (latent) period of months to years may occur, during which there is no physical evidence or symptoms of HPV infection. About two-thirds of people who have sexual contact with a partner who has genital warts develop them within a span of three months.
Signs and symptoms of genital warts
Genital warts often occur in clusters. They can be very tiny or can spread into large masses in the infected patient’s genital area. In other cases they look like small, flesh-colored stalks.Don’t mistake them with penile papules or fordyce spots.
In women, they occur on the outside and inside of the vagina, on the cervix to the womb (uterus), or around (or inside) the anus. Genital warts are equally prevalent in men, but the symptoms may be less obvious. When present, they usually are seen on the tip of the penis. They also may be found on the shaft of the penis, on the scrotum, or around (or inside) the anus.
Genital warts are often painless, however itchy, thus patients experience extreme discomfort.
How to diagnose genital warts
The diagnosis of genital warts is primarily based on the patient’s medical history, sexual history, and physical examination by the health care provider.
Women are usually indicated to undergo a pelvic examination. A procedure called colposcopy is used to check for genital warts that cannot be seen by the naked eye. In this procedure, the gynecologist places a watered-down vinegar, called acetic acid, on the cervix, which helps in seeing and confirming the presence of warts.
A Pap smear is also advised for women to undergo when they reach 21 years f age, or when they already had their first sexual contact – whichever comes first. The presence of HPV infection causes abnormal Pap smear results.
A biopsy of genital warts can also confirm the diagnosis of HPVinfection.
Treatment of genital warts
- 1. Self-care at home
Essentially, genital warts have no symptoms, other than their appearance. However, they can be itchy and cause great discomfort to the patient. Therefore it is important to immediately recognize the warts and seek professional help as soon as possible, in order to relieve and eliminate the infection.
Necessary precaution is important, in order to minimize the spread of infection. Prevent any possible trauma to the genital area, such as shaving or waxing, as these could result in bleeding.
Prohibit sexual contact when there is confirmed presence of genital warts, in order not to transmit the infection to a sexual partner. It is also advisable to avoid touching them, and do not squeeze or pick them, as it also increases the possibility of spreading the infection.
- 2. Surgical treatment of genital warts
Some of the available procedures include cryotherapy, laser treatment, and electrodessication.
Cryotherapy technique involves freezing the wart with a cryoprobe, or liquid nitrogen. It is an excellent first-line treatment of genital warts because it has a very high response rate with relatively few side effects.
Laser treatments are used for extensive or recurrent genital warts. This procedure requires local, regional, or general anesthesia, depending on the extent of the infection. It effectively destroys the warts, however it is expensive, has a longer healing time, and scarring.
Electrodessication uses an electric current to destroy the warts.
- 3. Medical treatment of genital warts
Alternative medications to surgical treatment of genital warts include topical medications, such as Podophyllum resin (Pod-Ben-25, Podofin), Podofilox (Condylox), 5-Fluorouracil (Efudex), and Imiquimod (Aldara).
Interferon alpha-n3 (Alferon N) is an injection used for warts that do not respond to other therapies; however, it has many side effects.
How to prevent genital warts
In 2006, an HPV vaccine (Gardasil) was approved by the FDA. It is currently recommended for both males and females aged 9 to 26 years in preventing infection with HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. This vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in women who had no previous exposure to HPV, but it is less effective in those who have already been infected. Likewise, Gardasil does not protect against all types of HPV infection.
Another vaccine called Cervarix provides protection against HPV types 16 and 18, and has been approved for females aged 10-25 years old.
It has been established that there is no 100% effective treatment for genital warts, thus it is important to prevent the spread of HPV by having responsible sexual habits, such as using condom protection and refraining from sexual activity until treatment of genital warts has been completed.
Recommended E book By Author Aston Christiansen
™Genital Warts treatment and removal™ is an information E book that will help you to comprehend what Genital Warts are, the way to protect yourself from getting genital warts and most importantly how to remove thous warts. I have researched and gathered all the information on the internet to defeat the genital warts and after finding this great E book I want to share it with anyone suffering and in need for proven and working treatment.
The Good Stuff
- This product is safe and effective for everyone of any age because it uses natural ingredients. It is also easy to use. Relief from genital warts is just a matter of days if you use this product and follow the necessary precautions on preventing the spread of the warts. You must never do anything that can damage the warts; these include scratching or picking the warts. When you are going to touch these warts, be sure that you have washed your hands with warm water and soap before and after touching the warts.
- It is also important to keep the area surrounding the warts clean and dry. Moisture can cause microorganisms to further multiply, that is why it is important to keep the area dry.
- This product, as stated, is easy to use. The natural ingredients you are going to use will enter the bloodstream, and in this way, they can effectively fight with the warts and prevent it from spreading and multiplying further. The main purpose of this product is to provide you relief from the warts, to cure it, to prevent possible complications and to keep it from spreading to the other parts of the body.
- No matter how we say that a product is made of natural ingredients, the fact that each person has a unique makeup of the body, there are some instances where allergic reactions may happen.(Castor oil, garlic…)
Having genital warts can have a negative effect on the person’s feelings because of the social stigma that it may produce. Rather than going through electrocauterizaiton for the removal of the warts, it is best to try out non-invasive interventions first, like natural remedies as mentioned in the e book. Because it is made from herbal ingredients, you can be worry free. Apply the solution with the recommended dosage, and you will see the first results in a couple of days. By following the instructions carefully and religiously treating the warts with the suggested remedy, you can expect your condition to improve in no time.