Genital Warts

(Anogenital Warts; Condyloma Acuminata; Human Papillomavirus [HPV]; Penile Warts; Venereal Warts; Warts, Genital)

Definition

Genital warts are growths or bumps that appear:
  • On the vulva
  • In or around the vagina or anus
  • On the cervix
  • On the penis, scrotum, groin, or thigh
  • Rarely, in the mouth or throat
Genital Warts
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Genital warts is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Most people will be exposed to a form of HPV at some point in their lives. Not everyone will become infected or develop symptoms.

Causes

Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different types of HPV. Only a few types are thought to cause genital warts. Many types of HPV are associated with harmless skin warts found on the fingers or feet. Certain types of HPV may cause cervical cancer . Less commonly, certain strains of HPV can cause cancers of the vulva, anus, or penis. HPV is easily spread during oral, genital, or anal sex with an infected partner. Most people who have sex with an infected partner will also develop genital warts.Warts can also be spread to an infant during delivery if the mother has genital warts.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk for HPV and genital warts include:
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • First male sexual partner has had two or more previous sexual partners (for women)
  • Sex without condoms
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Sex at an early age
  • Skin-to-skin contact with an infected partner
  • Previous history of genital warts or other STDs

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