What are genital warts
Genital warts caused by the papilloma virus (HPV), this infection is very common and there are over 100 known strains of this virus. Research shows that approximately 80% of this fall in to the category of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Certainstrains of the human papilloma virus that are the cause of genital warts are in the "high risk" category and can increase the chances of cervical cancer.
A sexually transmitted disease passed on from person to person via sexual contact the virus is spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex through saliva or bodily secretions.
Symptoms & signs of genital warts
There are not always symptoms of std's present, especially in the early stages of the disease. Genital warts may not appear for anywhere in between two to four weeks after being exposed to the infection, sometimes there may be no signs for a couple of months.
Genital warts are not usually painful, but they can cause discomfort in form of itching leading to inflammation and bleeding. For woman genital warts usually are visible on the vulva, vaginal lips or near the urinary opening. Genital warts can also be around the anus.
In woman genital warts can start of very small, they can join and resemble little cauliflowers. They can have an appearance of a small flat bump; some are so small they can not be seen by the human eye.
Treatment of Genital Warts
There is no cure for the human papilloma virus (HPV) that is responsible for the warts, once contracted it stays in the body. As time goes on the attacks usually become less severe, and the length of time between outbreaks will become longer. However, the warts themselves can be treated, there are a number of options available:
Podophyllin resin is a liquid that stops cell growth. The resin and podofilox that is a lotion is painted on to the wart by a health professional. It is left on for four hours, and then this is cleaned off. It is important to have health professionals to carry this out, it is important to not damage healthy tissue.
If you feel you would rather apply medication your self rather than have the health professional do this for you, then you may be given Podopfilox. This usually comes in the form of a lotion or a gel which should be applied twice a day for three days. After four days, it is recommended this is done again for three days and so on, in total this cycle sholud be followed for approximately one month.
A liquid can be used to freeze the wart, using liquid nitrogen, for more persistent warts this may be carried out for 1-3 weeks
Prevention of genital warts
In 2006, a vaccine was approved by the FDA and is now available to all people aged 9-26, research has shown that it is 100% safe and effective. It is used to prevent infection from the four most common strains of HPV. It is recommended to have the injection before the age of 17 because it is most effective for woman with no previous exposure to the virus.
It is important to practice safe sex, although it is important to remember a condom will not protect 100% from genital warts.