Genital warts is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. They appear after infection by the human papilloma virus: HPV-6 and HPV-11. The infection usually occurs during intercourse with an infected person.
The symptom is a cauliflower eruption, whitish or pink in the genital area: in women appear on the lips, the clitoris area and around, as well as in the cervix (such as flat warts); in men appear on the glans, the region of the brakes and the inner surface of the foreskin; in both sexes in the mucosa of the mouth and pharynx; in children around the anus. The intensity of the changes can be very different.
The incubation period is several months. In the latent phase, if there are no symptoms, the infected person can infect others during intercourse. The duration of symptoms is different for each person. The symptoms may be self-healing, but the recurrence rate is about 90%. Warts are still incurable today. One can only remove the symptoms with the help of ointments, creams, electrocoagulation, cryotherapy, surgery or CO2 lasers. The choice of treatment method depends on the extent of the change and its location. To avoid being infected, you can prevent yourself – take a vaccine and use condoms that reduce your risk by 75%.
To confirm the disease and to receive the treatment, you should go to the doctor, who conducts an anamnesis and a histopathological examination for safety. In women, a gynecological examination with colonoscopy is performed to see if there are no flat warts in the cervix. The disease should be differentiated from genital warts, mild fibroma, dandelion and pearly papules.
The risk factors are: unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, partners with unknown history and other sexually transmitted diseases.
HPV is the human papilloma virus (after the abbreviation in English of Human Papilloma Virus). There are currently around 100 known types of viruses. Some are responsible for common or juvenile warts, but two of them cause different warts, genital warts. These are types HPV-6 and HPV-11. The incubation period usually lasts several months, from virus penetration to the onset of symptoms. The disease may initially be latent, so the patient may unknowingly infect other people. The duration of the changes is different, sometimes they come back spontaneously. Recurrences are, unfortunately, very frequent in 90% of cases. The unfavorable factors are inflammation, inflammatory secretion, maceration of the skin and pregnancy. After papillomavirus infection, complications may occur in male phimosis and paraphimosis, inflammation of the cervix of women, or dysplasia. Genital warts should be distinguished from diseases such as syphilis warts, dandelions, mild fibroma or pearly papules. The HPV virus is transmitted sexually, fecal-orally, and also, for example, through the towel of an infected person. The cure, unfortunately, is not possible. You can remove the rash, but the disease will return.
Every 2 minutes a woman dies of cervical carcinoma. It is the second most common type of cancer in women, but also the cause of many physical and mental illnesses. The risk of HPV infection that causes cervical carcinoma affects all women. Every year, 270,000 women die. The incidence of cervical carcinoma is particularly high in countries where cervical carcinoma screening is not performed. In developing countries, cervical cancer kills more women than any other type of cancer. It is also a problem in terms of morbid state and stress in developed countries.
Doctors have warned that HPV (human papillomavirus) is responsible for cervical cancer in women; it is very dangerous for men as well. Increasingly, HPV has caused diseases such as cancer of the larynx, penis, or anal carcinoma caused by HPV. Men get infected with HPV like women: through sexual contacts. A risk factor here is, of course, the lack of abstinence and the frequent changes of partners. They say that 80% of men and women have at least one HPV in their lives. Not everyone gets infected with the oncogenic form and not all of them lead to cancer. But when it comes to this, the situation is very dangerous. Initially, HPV has no symptoms. If it is an oncogenic virus, the cancer will develop very long and is usually only discovered when it is too late – that is, in the fourth stage or when metastases already exist. Therefore, it is important to be screened for both women and men. According to the doctors, if it is possible to pay the vaccine, which costs 1500 zł, it should be considered, regardless of age. Not only among young people: this also applies to 20, 30 and even 40 years of age.
The wart symptom is a cauliflower, whitish or pink eruption. Warts form on the surface of the skin. They are located in both sexes in the genital area. In women, they are mainly in the region of the perineum, anus and lips. In men, they also appear on the genitals – inside the foreskin or on the glans. Changes may also occur in other areas, for example, in the mouth. The reason for this is oral sex. Pathological changes may be of different size and intensity. Some of them are relatively small; others can significantly affect everyday life. Symptoms can be removed in many ways, but unfortunately they come back often.
Genital warts pictures
HPV (human papillomavirus) is one of the most common infections that occur during intercourse. In women they are as common as in men. The unfavorable factors are the weakened immune system, stress, HIV infection, multiple sexual partners and unprotected sex.
The infection occurs through different types of sexual intercourse, such as the use of towels, laundry or hygiene of the infected person. More than 100 types of HPV are known, but those that cause genital warts are types HPV-6 and HPV-11. Complications following HPV infection include cervical carcinoma and dysplasia.
In the first few months after infection, the virus may be present in the latent stage. Already at this time, the sick person can infect their sexual partner. Often the patient is not aware of this. It is very important to use condoms that can reduce the risk by 75%.
The symptoms of genital warts are eruptions in the form of cauliflower that form in the genital area. They are mostly white, pink or skin color. Their size can vary: from very small to very large, which significantly affects everyday life. The changes are located on the lips, the clitoris area, the vulva and the cervix (such as flat warts). They can also occur in the mouth and throat. The reason for this is oral sex.
Oncogenic types HPV-16 and HPV-18 can lead to cervical carcinoma (the risk increases up to 500-fold).
When it comes to HPV infection and pregnancy, it is possible to infection of the fetus or child during birth. HPV does not cause miscarriages. More information can be found if you search for “Genital Warts and Pregnancy”.
The risk of HPV infection is the same for both men and women. However, the risk increases with homosexual and bisexual men, with people with disturbed homeostasis – because they cause, weakening the immune system – and with people infected with HIV, because their immune system does not function properly.
The most frequent infection is caused by sexual contact of any kind, sometimes by the use of the infected person’s towel. There are more than 100 types of HPV, but those that interest us are HPV-6 and HPV-11. They are responsible for genital warts, that is, cauliflower-like changes. HPV-16 and HPV-18 should also be addressed. These are high-risk types that can lead to anal or penile carcinoma.
After infection, HPV may appear in the latent phase. This phase can take up to several months. During this period, the patient does not know that it is dangerous for his potential sexual partner, since he can already infect him. Condom use reduces the risk, unfortunately, by only 75%.
The symptoms of infection with the human papilloma virus that cause the genital warts are whitish or pinkish, cauliflower-shaped changes and warts in the genital area. In men, changes occur in the area of the penis, scrotum and anus. They are usually located inside the foreskin or on the glans, the foreskin region and the inner foreskin. Both sexes can also occur in the mouth and throat. The reason for this is oral sex.
In a significantly weakened immune system, the disease can lead to complications such as phimosis or paraphimosis. In long-term infection, HPV can become a potentially fatal disease: it can cause anal carcinoma, whose symptoms are pain, bleeding, itching, and discharge from the anus. In the anal area there is also swelling of the lymph nodes. Another life-threatening disease is penile carcinoma. The disease manifests itself by changing the thickness of the skin, discoloration, tumors or lesions in the scrotum, which cause pain and bleeding. Both diseases may initially be asymptomatic. During this period, the disease may reach an advanced stage. Therefore, the exams and control are important for an urologist.
Many women with HPV ask if this has an effect on the course of pregnancy and the child. Doubt that women who do not know if they are also infected with the virus. Therefore, women who are planning a pregnancy should be examined to determine whether they are infected or not.
The HPV virus can not cause symptoms in the initial phase, even for several months. However, you should be aware that a potential infection affects you and your child. If, however, you are in a permanent medical center and perform regular cytology tests, you have nothing to fear because these tests show the anomalies. In addition, once you are pregnant, the first gynecological exam is used to remove the vaginal smear, in which all doubts are checked.
If you are the mother who suffers from HPV then you can stay calm because current medical studies do not reveal any link between HPV infection in the genital area and miscarriages or other complications of pregnancy. If the symptoms of the disease occur during pregnancy – that is, changes like eruptions, whitish, cauliflower – will be constantly observed by your doctor. It will check if they do not change its size. According to studies, they can be increased by hormonal changes during pregnancy.
A relatively serious problem is the risk of HPV infection of the fetus during pregnancy or during delivery. Studies show that transmission of the virus to the baby is possible. However, with the knowledge today, there is also opinions that in the case of a latent HPV infection, a woman can give birth naturally, which does not increase the risk of virus transmission. If the pregnant woman suffers from genital warts, a Caesarean should be done. The decision of a child in the world depends on the attending physician who must consider each case individually.
The diagnosis of genital warts requires medical advice. Sometimes, if the diagnosis is not clear, the doctor prescribes a histopathological examination. Then a sample is taken for analysis. It is also possible to make the diagnosis based on a cytological examination.
Unfortunately, modern medicine has so far not found effective remedy for HPV that causes genital warts. At present, it is only possible to treat external symptoms. Often they come back – with weakened immune system and high stress. There are some treatment options. They depend on many factors, such as the size of the changes or their location.
– Freezing – or, cryotherapy: treatment of changes with liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide
– Application of ointments – an increasingly popular treatment method. The doctor prescribes the ointment for home use. The patient is then treated by applying the medication (3 times per week). The therapy takes a long time: from 10 to 16 weeks.
– Medications that induce the immune response
– Laser removal – highly effective, usually used when symptoms also occur in the cervix
– Surgical operation – the last resort. Surgical treatment occurs when the warts do not react to primary therapy.
To prevent HPV infection, which causes the warts, one can get vaccinated. Vaccination must be done three times to take effect.
To protect yourself from genital warts infection, prevention is also important. The use of condoms reduces the risk by 75%.