Genital Warts

What is genital warts?

Genital Warts affect the skin and cause growths. Warts can develop anywhere on the genitals. Once you have been exposed to the virus it can take weeks/ months for a wart to develop. The virus which causes genital warts is also known as the human papilloma virus (HPV)

How do I know I’ve got warts?

  • You may notice a lump(s) which was not there before.
  • You can carry the virus without developing actual warts.

How do you get warts?

  • By touching your genitals with someone else’s genitals who carries the HPV virus. The virus may be present on the skin but no actual warts can be seen
  • You can get warts without having penetrative sex
  • You can get warts even if you use condoms, as a condom does not cover the whole genital area

What is the treatment?

  • Treatment depends on where the warts are and what they look like.
  • Treatment may involve using a cream or liquid at home, or coming to the clinic to get them frozen. It can take a while for the warts to disappear.

Sexual partners

  • Sexual partners will only be treated if they have visible genital warts.

What if I don’t get the warts treated?

  • The warts may increase in size and number, and you will be more likely to pass the infection on to any partner(s). In some people warts can get better by themselves.

How do I stop genital warts reappearing once they are gone?

  • Warts can recur after you have managed to get rid of them. This may happen weeks or months after they first appeared.
  • You can try and prevent this by keeping yourself and your immune system as healthy as possible by eating well, exercising and not smoking.


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