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STIs Explained: Genital Warts (HPV)

Ahh Spring is here. With all the flowers and love blooming around me, it reminds me how important it is to talk about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

You need to know about Genital Warts (HPV) since it is a viral infection, there is NO CURE. For most women, the visible infection goes away on its own, but once you get it, you have it forever. This means an infected person can pass it on to her or his sexual partner. HPV can cause mild Pap test abnormalities, and 10 out of 30 cases can lead to the development of cervical cancer.

To prevent Genital Warts and other STIs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Genital Herpes in the first place, abstain from sexual contact if you can. Since that's pretty unrealistic, the best thing to do is to have you and your partner get tested before you have sex.

Although using latex or polyurethane condoms is an excellent idea, the HPV virus can occur in areas that are NOT covered by condoms. Being in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone you know is uninfected is an even better way to keep yourself safe.

Make sure you get yearly Pap tests to ensure that pre-cancerous changes in the cervix caused by HPV infection do not develop into life threatening cervical cancer.

Want to know more about Genital Warts? Then

STI Symptoms How do you test for it? Treatment
Genital Warts (HPV)
  • Genital warts are soft and usually flesh colored. They can be flat or raised.
  • They appear alone or in clusters, and are usually painless, but can cause itching, pain or bleeding.
  • They can appear on the vulva, vagina, anus, cervix, penis or scrotum.
  • They appear one to eight months after infection, so you can be infected and not even know it.
A visual diagnosis or Pap test If you are a woman age 9-26, being vaccinated with Gardasil may help prevent Genital Warts and cervical cancer

If you have small visible warts, these can be treated with topical creams, or by freezing, burning, or laser treatment. If they are large, you may need surgery to remove them.


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