Genital warts are small lumps on the genitals which you can see or feel, but they are normally painless. They are caused by the genital wart virus (Human Papilloma Virus or HPV). They're different from the warts you can get on your hands and knees.
Signs and symptoms:
Genital warts can be found on the vagina, vulva, cervix, anus or penis, and sometimes in the mouth or throat. Some warts might be very small and others might clump together.
There is skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, including vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Sometimes it can be passed on through the fingers to the genitals by touching genital warts and then touching your partner's genitals.
What can happen:
If genital warts are left untreated they can multiply and spread. It's best to treat them early.
Your doctor can treat genital warts in several ways, including creams, freezing them off, laser treatment and surgical removal. There is now a vaccine available that protects women against some genital warts and cervical cancer. Talk to your doctor about it.
- Get vaccinated.
- Avoid any contact with the infected area.
- Always use condoms or dams and water-based lubricant. But remember, they only protect the area of skin that they cover.
- Before you have sex, talk with your partner about the importance of safer sex.
- Be open with your partner and make sure you or they don't have any other sex partners.
- Limit your sex partners.
- Have regular STI tests.
Other STIs and BBVs