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Genital Warts Information

What are Genital Warts?

Genital warts are small growths or lumps of skin which develop around the anus or genitals. They are a very common sexually transmitted infection. The highest rate of infection occurs in men between the ages of 20 and 24. They are caused by a viral skin infection, human papillomavirus (HPV) and although they look unsightly, they are usually pain free. They are transmitted through vaginal or anal sex and the virus can be passed on by skin to skin contact.

If you acquire the virus it may take up to 12 months for the warts to appear. HPV is usually passed on when the warts are visible, but you can transmit the virus prior to the warts appearing or after they've gone.

Condoms may not offer 100% protection from HPV because they may not completely cover the infected area.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms often resemble warts that appear on other parts of the body, such as the hand. They can be individual growths or appear in clusters. It is possible there will be some itchiness or irritation, especially if they have developed around the anus.

Should I be worried about Genital Warts?

Warts that appear around or inside the urethra can block urine flow. It is advised that you should not have sexual intercourse until the infection has healed fully. Genital warts can normally be very easily treated.

Treatment

There are three principal treatments for genital warts on prescription:

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