Genital Warts are also known as also called condyloma acuminate or venereal warts. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted disease and is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus. This condition can affect men and women both and at any age. These warts are flesh colored growths that occur in the genital region and the anal region of women. Warts in women are very contagious and one can get it by a sexual contact with someone who already has it.
The human papillomavirus or the HPV is the cause of genital warts in women. There are many types of HPVs and around 40 of these types can cause this condition. The most common types are the HPV -6 and HPV-11 which are responsible for about 90 percent of the genital warts caused.
The symptoms of genital warts in women are as follows:
1. People who suffer from this condition have bumps, flesh colored growths which are painless. They might cause itching and some discharge.
2. These warts may be of different sizes ranging from 1 mm to 1 cm when they join together.
3. Warts can be found in more than one area.
4. A history of STDs may be present.
These warts can affect the penis, scrotum, urethra and the rectal area in men. The lesions may be flat or elevated or hidden by hair. They can be raised growths, rough and cauliflower like appearance or soft. Genital warts in women can occur on the moist areas like the vagina opening. They can occur without any symptoms or women can experience bleeding after having sex. Other symptoms may be vaginal discharge and itching.
One needs to see the doctor for warts that are bleeding and obstruct urination. The diagnosis is done according to the appearance and history of the warts. Acetic acid solution may be applied to the areas so the infected area becomes white in color. Another technique is colposcopy which is magnification of the affected area with a scope. Pap smear test is done to detect HPV presence and the abnormal cells in the cervix. Biopsy is performed if the warts re appear after getting treated.
The treatment of genital warts (HPV) can be done as follows:
1. Laser Treatment: This laser treatment is done using local anesthesia for genital warts that keep reoccurring. This is an expensive treatment and involves high healing time and scarring.
2. Cryotherapy: This freezes the warts using liquid nitrogen. This is one of the best treatments for genital warts and has a high response rate.
3. Electrodesiccation: In this process, an electric current is used to destroy the genital warts in women.
4. Medications: Medications like podophyllum resin, podofilox, trichloroacetic acid, 5-Fluorouracil and Imiquimod can be applied locally. Some applications may cause burning.
5. Surgery: Surgery may be done to cut away the warts using local anesthesia.
Many treatments are available but none of these are considered 100 percent effective in removing the warts since it is not possible to remove the infection caused by HPV totally. The warts in women may subside and go away on their own within few months.