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Genital Warts - How They Can be Diagnosed?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Ekta Singh 90% (42 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Noida  •  23 years experience
Genital Warts - How They Can be Diagnosed?

Genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and affects both men and women. Genital warts are treatable but can come back if the underlying infection is not treated properly.

Genital Warts appear as soft growths on the genitals and are known to cause itching, pain and discomfort. Although the disease affects both men and women, it causes more complications in women as some strains of HPV can cause cancer of the cervix and vulva.

Warts can appear on the penis, scrotum, groin, thighs, inside or around the anus for men. These can appear inside of the vagina or anus, outside of the vagina or anus or cervix for women. They can also appear on the mouth, lips, tongue, throat of the person who engages in oral sex with an infected person. Sometimes the warts may be invisible to the eye and still cause symptoms like vaginal discharge, itching, bleeding or a burning sensation.

Symptoms of Genital Warts: HPV is very common and nearly 70 pc of the people are infected around the genital area. The Center for Disease control (CDC) says that most sexually active people, are affected by the disease at some point of there life. It is important to note that although the disease is transmittable through skin-to-skin contact, it doesn't spread from the hand to the genitals or vice versa.


Diagnosis:

 

  • Genital Warts can be diagnosed by performing a physical examination of the infected areas by a medical professional. Since some warts can be inside a woman's body, a doctor may have to conduct a pelvic exam. While conducting the test they use a mild acidic solution which makes the Genital Warts more visible.
  • A Pap smear test may also be conducted, in which a swab of the area is taken from inside your cervix. Apart from that doctors may also ask questions about a person's sexual history as well as health as ask if they have participated in unprotected sex, including oral sex.


Treatment: Visible Genital warts go away with time; however treatment is essential to prevent their return. The virus cannot be eliminated once it is in your bloodstream, which makes it possible that an infected person will have many break outs in their life. Managing the symptoms of Genital warts is important as they can be easily passed on to your sexual partner, even if there are no visible symptoms.

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