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Genital Warts

 

Genital warts are small infectious growths on and around the genitals that may increase the risk of developing cancer if not treated.

Causes

  • Certain kinds of human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Sexual contact (oral, vaginal, anal) with an infected person
  • In babies from infected mothers due to vaginal childbirth

Symptoms
Often, symptoms are not obvious. When present they include:

  • Flesh colored growths in the vagina, on the cervix, penis, scrotum, groin, or anus
  • Rarely, growths in the mouth or throat
  • Raised or flat growths
  • Single or clustered
  • Painless
  • Mild itching or irritation

Treatment
There is no cure for the infection but warts can be removed by:

  • Topical medication
  • Cryotherapy or freezing
  • Electrocautery or burning
  • Laser treatment
  • Surgery when other methods fail

Prevention

  • Avoiding sexual contact with an infected person
  • Avoiding vaginal birth when infected
  • Gardasil vaccine for a few but not all kinds of HPV