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Genital Warts

Also called: Condylomata acuminate, Venereal warts

Summary

Genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The warts usually appear as a small bump or group of bumps in the genital area. They are flesh-colored and can be flat or look bumpy like cauliflower. Some genital warts are so small you cannot see them. In women, the warts usually occur in or around the vagina, on the cervix, or around the anus. In men, genital warts are less common. They may have warts on the tip of the penis, around the anus, or on the scrotum, thigh, or groin.

You can get genital warts during oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected partner. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading HPV. The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have anal, vaginal, or oral sex. HPV vaccines may help prevent some of the HPV infections that cause genital warts.

Your health care provider usually diagnoses genital warts by seeing them. The warts might disappear on their own. If not, your health care provider can treat or remove them. HPV stays in your body even after treatment, so warts can come back.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

Start Here

  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF

Specifics

  • (American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons)

Images

  • (Logical Images)

Statistics and Research

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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  • Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Patient Handouts

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in
  • Genital warts (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF
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