What Is HPV Genital Warts? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
HPV genital warts or the human papillomavirus are one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases that infect one’s genital virus. There are more than 40 strains of HPV genital warts.
Genital warts include groups of various sexually transmitted viruses. Studies and past research says that every person who is active sexually in their life from a very young age (before 25) is supposed to get affected by the human papillomavirus genital warts at least once in their lifetime.
Genital warts appear on your pubic region skin areas (vagina, penis, vulva, cervix, scrotum) that can cause a high level of pain and burning sensations. The virus appears like tiny, flesh-coloured warts( cauliflower-shaped).
The most common reason for genital warts diseases is having unprotected and unhygienic sex ( specifically oral sex). Many people don’t even get to know that they suffer from such kind of viral infection and they continue to have sex with partners which is again the cause of transmission to their partners too.
Although genital warts are not really fatal some types of HPV genital warts can lead to even cancer (especially uterus cancer ). Fortunately, vaccines are available to help you reduce the risk of genital warts affecting you. But still if one does not follow important precautional steps, chances are there that they get warts even after getting vaccines.
Genital warts generally occur on the vulva, the walls of the vagina in females and in the skin of external genitals of the anus and the cervix. In men, they may occur on the tip or shaft of the penis, the scrotum, or the anus but warts can even be in the person’s mouth, or throat due to going for oral sexual contact with an infected person.
Few may not feel any kind of pain when the situation is mild but discomfort increases when the situation becomes severe.
The few signs and symptoms of genital warts can be these the following –
• Pain, itching and discomfort in the pubic region
• Bleeding from genitals (especially while having intercourse)
• Burning sensation while peeing
• Tiny, flesh coloured and cauliflower-shaped bumps in your genitals
• Warts in mouth or throat
What are the causes of HPV genital warts?
The major reason for the spread of genital warts is sexual contact. It is unprotected most of the time but protection also doesn’t provide all the safety. It just reduces the risk of transmission. The other factors on which the spread of the virus depends include –
• Having multiple sexual partners
• Being sexually active from a very young age (before 25)
• Going for certain kinds of medication/drugs for a long time which has side effects
• Being sexual with someone who has multiple partners in the past or present also
Complications associated with HPV genital warts –
• HPV genital warts can lead to cancer like uterus cancer, vulva cancer, anal cancer, cancer in the penis, mouth cancer or throat cancer.
• The HPV genital warts can lead to permanent organ damage that includes the cervix, vulva, and genitals.
• If pregnant women get affected by the HPV genitals warts, it can lead to their stretching of vaginal wall tissues, too much bleeding and even an unhealthy baby.
Prevention steps for it –
Any disease cannot be completely prevented as all the situations is not in our hands. But we can take measures were things in our hands. Here are a few suggestions you can take from this article –
• Say no to multiple sexual partners. This is really not good for you both mentally and physically. It can lead you to various kinds of unwanted sexually transmitted diseases (STD), addiction and unwanted mental pressures also. It may not be visible in the short term but are really harmful in the long term.
• Have protected sex. Always use a good latex condom. Never have unprotected sex by the time you are going for family planning. Also, if you are having oral sex, maintain proper hygiene.
• Do not date a partner who has multiple sexual partners.
• Get yourself and your partner vaccinated for the HPV virus vaccine. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have now provided vaccines for even children aged nine years.
Various myths created about HPV genital warts
Fact – the vaccine protection stays with you only for 10 years. Also , it only reduces your risk of the virus affecting you but you still continue to have sex without taking precautional measures , it can still affect you.
Fact – this is a big myth which is not true. HPV can affect both males as well as the females. However , the females have higher chances of getting affected by such STD’S than that of the men.
Fact – this is a partial myth. Not all the HPV leads to cancer. Only some of them can lead to severe diseases.
Fact – sexual intercourse is not only the reason of getting HPV disease. HPV can spread due to many other factors as it basically transmits due to skin contact.
Fact – you can still get HPV infection if you still continue to have unprotected sex , have multiple partners , have oral sex unhygienically and other such things. As vaccine will only help you to reduce its risk for a certain extent , but it depends majorly on your lifestyle manners and other factors.
How do doctors diagnose HPV genital warts ?
In most cases, genital warts are understood by the doctors just by looking at the bumps formed in your skin. But there are also cases where it’s a bit complicated for the doctors to identify the infection just by looking at them. Thus, Diagnosis tests are required at such places. The various biopsy tests available to detect the infection can may include the following –
• HPV test – in the HPV test, the cervix cell analysis is tested to diagnose your HPV. This test is not available for everyone and it is only taken for women above 30 years.
• PAP test – PAP test helps to determine pelvic infection, vaginal infection and other cervical changes in the body. With the help of the Speculum, they hold the opened vagina and see the passage between your vagina and cervix and with the help of a tool collect a small sample of cells from the cervix which is further taken for laboratory tests.
• Study your sexual life history
The mild phase of genital warts goes away itself only with the passage of time. However, treatments are needed for others. Your doctor may provide the following treatment
• Medications – medications include the following –
1. Trichloroacetic acid burns off genital warts and can be used for internal warts.
2. Imiquimod creams boost the ability of your immune system and help fight the various diseases in your body.
3. Sinecatechins creams to help reduce redness and itchiness in the anal region.
4. Condylox to destroy the tissues of genital warts fro. Inside base.
• Surgery – surgeries for removing greater and enlarged genital warts that cannot be cured by medications include the following –
Frequently asked questions –
Answer – it depends. It may go within 6 months if you have a strong base immune system and it can even take 2-3 years to go completely.
Answer – HPV is generally not fatal in majority cases but few HPV can lead to deadly cancer diseases.
Answer – unfortunately no , HPV vaccine only work if you get it before you are affected by the virus.