Men's Articles

Genital Warts

Genital warts are caused by the human papilomavirus (HPV). There are many types of HPV. Those that cause condyloma are different from those that cause common warts on the hands or feet.

How You Get It

Genital warts is passed on during sexual intercourse - genital, oral, or anal, with an infected person. It is easier to get condyloma if a condom is not used.

How It Is Transmitted

Genital warts are transmitted when the virus is passed from one partner to another during sex.

What They Look Like - What The Symptoms Are

Genital warts does not always cause signs that are visible. When it does, they are noticeable 3 days to 3 weeks after infection. It takes years for signs to show up in some people. Warts can appear in clusters or as one or two small bumps. In women, warts can be present in the vulva, perineum, cervix, vagina, or anus. In men, warts usually appear on the penis and are sometimes found on the scrotum.

How To Get Tested For It

A qualified medical professional will look at the genital area. They can also check areas that are not easily visible, especially in the woman. For example, they can retrieve a sample of cells from the cervix to examine for the virus or use a colposcope, a magnifying instrument, to look directly in the vagina and cervix.


There are many different treatments available today. Most have a success rate of better than 80%. Warts can now be removed through a variety of surgical procedures like laser, cold steel, and hot cautery. There are also a number of applied treatments like caustic agents TCA and BCA, podophyllin resin, and podofilox solution. Some warts do return and may require further treatment. Always have the partner examined by a healthcare professional to prevent reinfection.

If Left Untreated

The HPV virus remains in the body and can cause warts at any time. Left untreated, these warts can become large and difficult to treat. Certain types of warts have been linked to changes in tissues that could lead to cancer. During pregnancy, genital warts can grow very quickly and can even interfere with a normal vaginal delivery. As with any virus, the risk of passing condyloma on to a partner is always present.


Avoid sexual contact until all warts are gone. Wearing protection in the form of a latex condom or abstinence.


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