Genital warts are small swelling or growths of skin color caused by different strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV). 50% of sexually active adult population can get genital warts. Although this infection affect especially people with ages between 17 and 33 years old, they can occur on people of any age.
The virus that causes genital warts is not treatable, but the illness can be kept under control with the proper medication. If by chance you are diagnosed with genital warts, your sexual partner is also suspected to develop them in 60% of cases.
What is the cause of genital warts?
The cause of genital warts is human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 40 different strains of the virus, but most of the genital warts are caused by two of them: HPV-6 and HPV-11. In most cases, the immune system eliminates the virus before any signs or symptoms of the infection.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that at least half of sexually active people get to be infected by this virus. Risk factors that increase chances of this happening are: unprotected sexual intercourse with multiple partners, the presence of other STDs, starting the sex life at an early age, sexual intercourse with a person whose sexual history is unknown.
What are the symptoms of the genital warts?
The common symptoms of the genital warts are some flesh-colored bumps. Genital warts are not painful, but in some cases itching was reported. They may be visible at the vulva and vagina, the cervix, the penis, the urethra or the anus. They are likely to erupt in the mouth, lips, tongue and throat.
Genital warts occur after a period of 6 weeks up to six month after infection, although the incubation period of the virus may be even longer. They have a rapid growth during pregnancy or when the immune system is weakened by any of these medical conditions: diabetes, HIV-AIDS, Hodking`s disease, post-transplant medication or n case of chemotherapy. Genital warts located in the mouth usually appear when having unprotected oral sex.
Symptoms are specific: bleeding during sexual intercourse, itching or discomfort in the infected area, small bumps skin colored or grey in the genital area.
It is highly recommended to take the test if you had any unprotected sexual intercourse. This infection will reoccur because of the high incubation period of the virus.