Genital warts are the most notable symptom of a very contagious sexually transmitted disease (STD), and they are triggered by what is known as the Human Papillomavirus or simply HPV. A person can develop genital warts after coming in direct contact with an infected partner, be it through anal, genital or oral sex. In spite of the fact that genital warts are more bothersome and embarrassing than dangerous from a medical standpoint, it is believed that some types of Human Papillomavirus can dramatically increase the risk for anal cancer and cervical cancer if left untreated.
What To Expect If You Suffer From Genital Warts?
Statistically speaking, only 10% of all those who are infected with HPV get to develop genital warts at a certain point in their lives. However, if the warts are not visible this does not mean that the person is not infected – they can be infected and unknowingly pass the virus to another person. The Human Papillomavirus is so common that almost all sexually active people have it, and the most common strains of the virus are the type 11 and type 6, which happen to be the culprit behind genital warts. In spite of the fact that these types of HPV are also known to carry a very low risk for cancer, they must not be neglected.
Genital warts can occur either singly or under the form of clusters, and they typically form either in the genital or the anal area, depending on the area where the contact with the infected partner took place. Nonetheless, warts can develop on other parts surrounding the genital area as well, such as the labia majora, the scrotum, the penile shaft or even inside the vagina or the cervix, in rare cases. Genital warts come in different shapes and sizes and they typically vary in size from one to five millimeters, although they can grow bigger in time and, in rare cases, they may even bleed.
The warts are the most obvious and visible sign of this sexually transmitted disease, although they can be accompanied by other symptoms such as redness or itching, along with a general sensation of pain and discomfort around the affected area. Most of those who suffer from genital warts also experience some degree of psychological distress due to this condition, mainly because many people find it embarrassing.
Useful Tips And Hints On How To Prevent And Manage Genital Warts
It is certainly a lot better to prevent the onset of genital warts than to treat this STD, and the fastest and most efficient way to do that is by opting for the two types of HPV vaccines. Not only will these vaccines protect you against HPV, but they can also lower the risk of cervical cancer in women. Sexually active men and women between the ages of 9 and 26 are advised to take this vaccine, and it is a lot more effective if it is done before their first sexual encounter.
The use of condoms during sex is yet another aspect of utmost importance, as it will not only reduce the risk for genital warts and prevent them from spreading to other areas, but they will also reduce the risk for contracting other sexually transmitted diseases. Besides this, those who already suffer from genital warts are highly advised to quit smoking, as this will prevent warts from developing furthermore.