Feb 5

Genital Warts Symptoms – Do You Have It?

Genital Warts are raised bumps or patches that are usually the same color as the underlying skin. In some cases they are so slightly raised that it may be difficult to notice them, especially since they are skin-colored. They can range in size from an eighth of an inch to inches across. In larger genital warts, the lesion can be lumped up and resemble a cauliflower head.

Genital warts may also appear pink, brown, or red when they become irritated or inflamed. Sometimes they appear white or gray. When genital warts have broken, they may release a fluid discharge or blood.
Genital warts can look very much like most common warts. One difference between genital warts and their common wart cousins is their typical location. Genital warts, as their name implies, generally appear on the genitals.

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In men, genital warts may occur:

  • On the head or shaft of the penis
  • Inside the urethra (the tube within the penis that passes urine)
  • Within the foreskin of uncircumcised men
  • On the scrotum
  • Between the scrotum and the anus
  • In the folds between the legs and the genitals
  • On and around the anal sphincter
  • Within the anus itself

In women, genital warts can occur:

  • Around the vagina
  • On the vulva
  • Inside the vagina
  • On or around the cervix
  • Between the vagina and the anus
  • In the folds between the legs and the genitals
  • On and around the anal sphincter
  • Within the anus itself

While genital warts prefer to grow in these areas, they can occur almost anywhere on the body. They can erupt in the mouth or throat (from oral sex) and on the arms and legs. Any region of skin that is exposed to the human papillomavirus (HPV) may contract the infection and develop a wart. However, genital warts occurring in places other than the mouth or genitals are quite uncommon.
Other than being a visible blemish, genital warts may not cause any real symptoms. In fact, many people may have genital warts long before they notice them. This is especially true if the lesions occur completely within the vagina or anus, since they are not easily seen in these areas. Even external genital warts may be so small as to be barely detectable at first.

When genital warts do cause symptoms, they can vary widely. Perhaps the most common complaint among patients with genital warts is that they cause a itching or a slight burning. As the wart grows, the nerve endings in that area are stimulated—similar to the itchiness that occurs in a wound as the skin heals. While the nerves are trying to sense the outside world, they send signals to the brain of itchiness and burning.

In many cases, symptoms occur as a consequence of the location of genital warts in the body. When the genital wart grows in the urethra, it may cause pain and irritation or it can interfere with urine flowing out of the body. This may cause burning or pain with urination. If the wart significantly blocks the flow of urine, the urine stream may be weakened or split. Urine that is blocked may also increase the risk for urinary tract infections.

When genital warts occur inside the vagina or on the cervix, women may notice vaginal bleeding even when they are not menstruating. Also, vaginal bleeding, with or without pain, may occur during vaginal sexual intercourse. Aside from blood, women with genital warts within the vagina sometimes notice an unusual discharge.

When genital warts are present within the anus and they are large, they may interfere with defecation. This would mean increased strain during defecation and the stools that are produced are of small caliber (thin). More commonly though, the genital warts may break and bleed during a bowel movement. This would result in blood on the toilet paper, on the stools, on in the toilet water. Often this bleeding is mistaken for hemorrhoids, which are more common than anal genital warts. Therefore anal bleeding should be evaluated by an internist or a gastroenterologist when it occurs. The treatments for hemorrhoids and genital warts are vastly different.
It is important to note that genital warts near or on the anus may occur in men and women without engaging in receptive anal intercourse. However, genital warts inside of the anus virtually never occur with receptive anal intercourse.

Also remember that genital warts do not occur immediately following sexual contact with an infected person. The human papillomavirus (HPV) may be transmitted from the infected person to a sexual partner, however the virus may not (and usually does not) erupt into a wart for some time. Genital warts may not appear from months to years after initial infection. Symptoms of genital warts may not occur for weeks to months after the warts erupt, if they occur at all.

Photo Credit:

http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/Hardin/md/stdpictures2.html
ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/encinoman/376242904/

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4 Comments

  1. natural treatment for warts says:

    Laser therapy is one treatment which takes care of the scar while treating the warts.

  2. paige says:

    when you do the laser treatmeant on the warts does it hurt? and does it get rid of the pain and keep them gone?

  3. priti thapa says:

    i m 24 year old pregnant( 38 weeks ) i hv developed vaginal and vulval warts dr has sugested me lscs do my warts can infact my baby even if i under go lscs?
    this is life long infection or it is fully curable plz give me some idea and advice how it can be treated.

  4. leigh says:

    if ihad warts an my dr took tham off an it dont show on my pepmore that i dont have anything can i still have an give it to someone

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