GENITAL WARTS (HPV)


HPV/Genital Warts

Information and Pictures on Genital Warts/HPV, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Information including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, transmission, prevention and other general information.

HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV)/GENITAL WARTS INFORMATION

There are more than 100, mostly harmless, types of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), including some which:

  • cause changes in cells (these types increase the risk of cervical and certain other cancers)
  • cause genital warts
  • seem to have no harmful effect at all

Some HPVs cause common skin warts such as:

  • butcher’s warts
  • common hand warts
  • juvenile warts
  • plantar warts on the feet

These types of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) do not cause genital warts.

About 30 types of Human Papilloma Virus are spread through sexual contact and can infect the genital area:

  • anus
  • cervix
  • penis
  • rectum
  • scrotum
  • vagina
  • vulva

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a viral infection of the skin and is sometimes also called

  • anogenital warts
  • condylomata acuminata
  • genital warts
  • venereal warts

It causes growths of skin-colored, cauliflower-like masses of various sizes and shapes.

It is thought there are more cases of genital Human papilloma Virus (HPV) infection than any other STD in the United States, infecting from 3-28% of the population, with up to 5 million new cases reported every year.


Genital Warts Symptoms

Human papilloma Virus (HPV) lives in skin cells and may be confined to an early isolated outbreak or may be located internally in the:

  • rectum
  • throat
  • urethra
  • vagina

Symptoms that may occur several weeks to months after being exposed to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) include:

  • itching or burning around the sex organs
  • painless growths in either sex usually on damp or moist surfaces of the body beginning as tiny, soft pink or red spots
  • spots develop into small, white/yellow/gray bumpy warts on the sex organs and anus
  • warts can grow quickly into irregularly shaped cauliflower-like masses

HPV Symptoms in women

The most common places women will find symptoms appearing include:

  • on the cervix
  • on the opening (cervix) to the womb (uterus)
  • on the outside and inside of the vagina
  • on the vulva

Most women recover from HPV infections with no health problems at all and many women will develop a natural immunity against different types of HPVs.

It is still not known why some women develop further complications like:

  • long-term HPV infection
  • pre-cancerous abnormal cell changes
  • cervical cancer

HPV Symptoms In men

Genital warts symptoms are less common in men, however, warts can occur on the:

  • scrotum (the sac that holds the testicles)
  • tip or shaft of the penis

Anal sex can cause HPV warts:

  • on, in or around the anus and rectum

Oral sex can cause warts and symptom in the:

  • mouth
  • throat

Oral HPV Symptoms can include:

  • bleeding
  • difficulty in swallowing (if in the mouth or throat)
  • difficulty in urination (if in the urethra, penis or vagina)
  • localized discomfort and pain

You should see a health professional immediately if any of the following occurs:

  • bleeding or skin changes around the genitals
  • contact with an infected person
  • unusual growths or bumps

Note: The longer HPV warts are allowed to grow, the more persistent they become and untreated genital warts can eventually spread, grow, and multiply into large clusters causing health complications. Some people who are infected with HPV do not develop the warts for many years.

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Photos of Genital Warts Symptoms

Genital Warts HPV Transmission

The rate of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection / transmission is increasing due to:

  • changes in sexual behavior
  • more young people having sex at an earlier age
  • an increase in multiple sex partners among sexually active people
  • genital warts are very contagious and about two-thirds of people who have sexual contact with an infected partner will usually develop warts within three months of contact

Both men and women are equally susceptible to infection and it occurs most frequently in persons aged 15-40.

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Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is transmitted (spread)

  • by people who are infected but who have no symptoms and unknowingly transmit HPV to others
  • by touching the genitals of someone during vaginal, anal and oral sex with an infected partner
  • to a baby during childbirth if the mother has the virus

Very rarely HPV infections occur from:

  • children can get it while being bathed or changed
  • genital warts develop in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sex with an infected person
  • people can be born with the infection

Warts

  • can disappear on their own
  • stay unchanged
  • grow and spread
  • can return, sometimes after several months because the virus lies dormant in skin cells
  • can require multiple treatments

How Genital Warts are Diagnosed

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Culture or Biopsy

A culture or biopsy of the abnormal tissue is taken and sent to the laboratory for microscopic analysis, where a health professional may recognize the classic-shape of the growths

Identification of some invisible warts can be carried out by applying vinegar (acetic acid) to suspected areas of genital tissue, in which the solution causes infected areas to whiten making them more visible.

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Pap Smears

In a Pap Smear cells scraped from the cervix are examined under a microscope to determine:

  • if there are cancerous cells
  • if there is a cervical HPV infection
  • infections and inflammations of the cervix
  • thinning of the cervical tissue from lack of estrogen

If the Pap smear is abnormal there may be an HPV infection and a medical examination is needed to look for and treat any cervical problems. Unless you have genital warts or have had abnormal Pap test results, you won’t be able to tell you have the virus. If cancer is found your health professional will put you in touch with a gynecological oncologist.

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Colposcopy

A procedure called colposcopy can be performed using a magnifying instrument to take a closer look at cervical and vaginal tissue

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Hybrid Capture II®

Hybrid Capture II® is a new type of test used to find very small amounts of HPV in fluid or tissue samples


Genital Warts HPV Treatment

At this point in time there is no permanent cure for Human Papilloma Virus and it often comes back due to infection of nearby skin. Depending on factors such as the size and location of the genital warts several methods of treatment are available.

Your health professional will advise you of all your options and depending on the diagnosis you may need to:

  • have a colposcopy and biopsy
  • repeat the pap smear test
  • treat the cervix with antibiotic cream

Moderate to severe pre-cancerous growths require colposcopy and biopsy and destruction of infected cells may be carried out using any of the following procedures:

  • cryotherapy
  • electrocautery
  • laser surgery
  • Essential Oils
  • topical Solutions

HPV Treatment consists of:

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Cryotherapy

  • cervical or intravaginal warts are usually treated with freezing
  • freezing the growths with liquid nitrogen

Electrocautery

  • a 0.5 percent podofilox solution applied to the affected area but not washed off
  • burning the growths off with a potent acid, such as trichloracetic acid, applied undiluted to the infected area and washed off several hours later
  • use of a a blistering agent, such as 20% podophyllin solution (made from rainforest beetles) applied to the affected area and washed off later

Laser surgery

  • destruction of the growths with laser surgery
  • surgically removing the infected area

Immune response modifiers

A new class of drugs called immune response modifiers are being used to fight off the genital warts

  • A 5 percent 5-fluorouracil cream
  • Aldara (Imiquimod) Cream is available by doctor’s prescription only but can be applied to the affected area 3 times a week

Note

Aldara is for the treatment of visible warts on the :

  • genitals
  • peri-anal area

and not for treatment of:

  • cervical warts
  • intravaginal warts

Topical Solution

There are several main topical solution currently used in the treatment of external genital warts and peri-anal warts.

Terrasil MAX

Terrasil is an FDA-registered wart removal ointment that’s packed with the nourishing ingredients your skin needs for relief. We use high-quality and powerful ingredients that are natural, organic and homeopathic.

Genital Warts Treatment — Terrasil MAX™ Destroys the Virus that Causes Warts. 100% Guaranteed. FedEx Offer.
Condylox

Condylox is the first ever FDA approved gel that treats genital warts. The active ingredients in Condylox get right to the problem and start treating genital warts immediately. Condylox Gel 0.5% or Solution 0.5% is indicated for the topical treatment of ano-genital warts (external genital warts and peri-anal warts).

Interferon

The antiviral drug alpha interferon injected directly into the warts has been used to treat warts that have returned after removal using other traditional methods.

Studies show that:

  • a second course of injections of the drug was needed by some patients
  • the drug does not cure the disease
  • the drug does not reduce the rate of recurrence
  • the drug eliminated the warts in about half the patients
  • the drug is expensive

All three procedures can be done in your health professional’s clinic with local anesthetic.

Caution

If you are pregnant, you should not use:

  • 5-fluorouracil cream
  • podofilox
  • podophyllin

because they are absorbed by the skin and may cause birth defects.

Note

Never use over the counter cures for warts near the genitals as severe irritation can occur.


Prevention

  • if warts are visible in the genital area, sexual contact should be avoided until the warts are treated
  • people who have many sexual partners put themselves at higher risk for genital warts

Prevention may be possible by:

  • abstinence
  • infected skin being covered to prevent skin to skin transmission
  • correct use of male latex condoms to prevent transmission of the virus from one person to the next
  • having regular pap smears to look for cervical problems if women are sexually active
  • limiting sexual contact to a single, uninfected partner

Help Factors

A woman can lower her risk of cervical cancer by:

  • avoiding cigarette smoking
  • avoiding the use of oral contraceptives
  • practicing abstinence
  • practicing sex play that does not include vaginal intercourse
  • undergoing regular Pap tests
  • using condoms

Dietary Recommendations

Include in the diet foods high in:

  • beta-carotene
  • folic acid

Yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables:

  • carrots
  • corn
  • mangoes
  • squash
  • tomatoes

Dark-green, leafy vegetables:

  • cabbage
  • collard greens
  • lettuce
  • spinach

and

  • beans
  • peanuts
  • whole grains

It is important to consider that:

  • early treatment of pre-cancerous growths can prevent cancer from developing
  • Follow-up examinations are necessary if an abnormal condition is found
  • most abnormalities that are detected are not cancerous

Prognosis

Genital warts will be transmitted to your sexual partner(s)

Because the virus can remain latent in the skin, infected persons may not be aware of their infection and the potential risk of complications from the virus.

Complications:

  • sometimes the virus stays in the body even after the warts go away, so there is the possibility that the warts can recur
  • cancer of the penis (a rare cancer)
  • cervical dysplasia, a precancerous type of abnormal cell growth on the female cervix
  • the presence of other STDs increases the risk of developing genital cancers

Infection of a woman’s cervix with certain strains of this virus can lead to:

  • anal cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • vulva cancer

Cervical infection with oncogenic types of HPV is associated with more than 80% of cases of invasive cervical cancer.


Human Papilloma Virus HPV)/Genital Warts during Pregnancy and Childbirth

A number of problems may arise during pregnancy from genital warts.

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For the mother

  • If the warts are in the vagina, they can cause the vagina to become less elastic and cause obstruction during delivery
  • in rare cases the warts can grow so large they block the birth canal
  • the warts can bleed
  • the warts can get larger during pregnancy making it difficult to urinate

For the baby

  • laryngeal papillomatosis (very rarely infants born to women with genital warts develop warts in their throats), a potentially life-threatening condition

Treatment

  • frequent laser surgery to prevent obstruction of the breathing passages
  • the use of interferon therapy in combination with laser surgery may slow the course of the disease

Research

Current work is being carried out on two types of vaccines:

  • one to prevent infection or disease (warts or pre-cancerous tissue changes)
  • one to treat cervical cancers