Complications of Untreated Genital Warts

And so you thought that the bump will just disappear…

Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV which has 100 known strains. From these, around 40 types cause genital warts. Genital warts can be transmitted through vaginal, oral and anal sex, as well as through indirect contact, such as using the personal belongings of an infected person. An infected pregnant woman can easily transmit the virus to the baby either through an ascending or a descending route.

Around 50% of individuals with genital warts are oblivious to the infection, due to the fact that most of the time, the site of infection is deep within their vagina or urethra. Also, most often, genital warts spontaneously resolve even without treatment that most people are unaware that they had an HPV infection.

Genital warts usually do not appear until after several weeks after the viral entry to the host cells. Signs and symptoms may develop between one to four months after the exposure. In some cases, it can take up a year before any of the warts develop. They are usually painless but can be irritating with contact. The warts can be soft, flat or irregularly shaped. They can also be variable in color. Some are visibly red, and others could either be gray or pink. The more important thing is that any change in the appearance of the genital warts should alert the infected person on the possibility of malignancy.

Many treatment modalities are available to treat genital warts. Management options include self-administered solutions, such as the use of vinegar. Laser removal and cryotherapy are just among the myriad options that a gynecologist can offer to an infected person.

However, when warts are left unattended or did not resolve by themselves, they can either remain as it is or clump together forming a large cauliflower-shaped lesion. With these signs, the possibility of malignancy increases. Remember that the Human Papilloma Virus types 16, 18, 31, 33 and 35 are strongly associated with the development of cervical and rectal cancers. Of the small percentage who develops cancer, progression can take anywhere from 5 to 30 years. With this in mind, women should have their regular cervical pap smear. A result of cervical dysplasia on a routine cervical pap smear should alert a woman on the potential risk of cancer and should immediately consult a doctor. Remember that pre-cancerous cervical lesions are readily treatable.

Genital warts may ulcerate or may become infected, causing extreme irritation and discomfort. This is especially felt once the infection affects certain areas, such as the urethra, anus, rectum or the mouth.

Solutions such as podophyllatoxin are contraindicated to pregnant women since the drug has been proven to be teratogenic to the fetus. Because of this, it is very important to talk to your doctor about the different treatment options that would be safe not only for the mother, but also to the baby.

During the course of pregnancy, the warts could increase their size, making urinating difficult for a woman. Also, if the warts are on the vaginal canal, passage of the baby during birth could predispose the newborn to develop laryngeal papillomatosis (warts in the throat) that can cause respiratory distress or even death. Treatment involves surgery to unblock the obstructed airway.

Some genital warts are almost undetectable, particularly if they are flat and slow growing. With these, having a regular gynecologic check-up and practicing safe sex are the most important tools a woman should have to avoid genital warts, which are the culprits behind cervical cancer. Bear in mind that genital warts are readily treated if they are small and are few in number.

Genital Wart Prevention

For the past several years, genital warts are the leading sexually transmitted disease or STD in the United States. Its prevalence rate, or the number of genital wart cases in a given population at a given time, had a four-fold increase in the past two decades. At present, it is estimated that around 30 million individuals worldwide have been affected by genital warts at least once in their lifetime, surpassing the number of genital herpes cases. It is alarming that after 10 years of decreasing numbers of genital wart cases, its incidence reached its all-time high in 2006, prompting physicians to warn sexually active individuals to take the necessary precautions to prevent infection and recurrence of the disease.

Genital warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus, a group of highly contagious viruses that are mainly transmitted through sexual contact. It is estimated that uninfected individuals who engage in any sexual activity, such as vaginal, oral or anal sex, with an infected person has a 60% chance of acquiring the infection. This only indicates that the virus is highly competent to overcome the body’s defenses. Though some HPVs types are less likely to result in genital warts, these viruses are strongly associated to malignancies of the cervix and vagina are some of its complications.

At present, there is no known cure for genital warts and HPV-related complications. Though medications and surgeries are easily availed, these therapies can only alleviate the annoying and irritating signs and symptoms of genital warts, and they do not, in any way, eradicate the virus of the body. Thus, prevention is one’s best defense against this highly infectious disease.

Tips To Prevent Genital Warts:

  • The best preventive measure against genital warts is total abstinence from any sexual activity. Recall that highly infectious genital warts are transmitted through vaginal intercourse, oral sex and anal sex. An actual penetration is not necessary to cause infection. As long as a break in the skin comes in contact with the virus, genital warts are likely to grow in three to eight months.
  • Practice safe sex. If total abstinence is not possible, it is important to be careful in one’s sexual activities and prevent promiscuous acts. Multiple sex partners significantly increases one’s risk to genital warts, thus, it is recommended to wear latex condoms to reduce the chances of acquiring the virus. Bear in mind that condoms do not give a hundred percent guarantee against HPV transmission. Genital warts can grow in areas other than the penis or vaginal walls, and once a skin break comes in contact with a virus, HPV transmission is a big possibility. Spermicides and oral contraceptives do not protect you from genital warts. Get to know more about your partner before engaging in any sexual activity. Though at times it might seem uncomfortable, it is better be sure than to be sorry later.
  • Through the latest advances in science and medicine, a vaccine is now readily available for women against the four commonly isolated HPVs, HPV-6, HPV-11, HPV-16 and HPV-18. These HPV types are associated to genital warts, cervical carcinoma and anogenital malignancies. Gardasil, a vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is recommended to women ages 9 and 26 years. Administration of Gardasil helps the body develop immunity against the HPV viruses, which is greatly beneficial in preventing the occurrence of complications, such as cancer.
  • Do not scratch the itch. Itchiness is one of the most irritating and bothersome symptoms of genital warts. Scratching might spread the virus to uninfected parts of the body.
  • Hand washing is not considered a universal infection precaution without a reason. It is the simplest and least expensive way of preventing HPVs. Recent studies show that aside from sexual contact, HPV infections are also spread through hand-genital and oral-genital contacts. Genital warts are itchy and there is a big tendency to scratch them off. Because there are times when scratching or picking the warts are done unconsciously, it is doubly stressed to wash hands, especially before and after eating and after using the bathroom.

Genital Warts And Pregnancy

Pregnancy involves hormonal changes that predispose a pregnant woman to infections because it renders her in an immunocompromised state. According to research, during the course of pregnancy, the immune system swivels in many ways, leaving some pregnant women highly susceptible to opportunistic pathogens, such as the genital wart-causing Human Papillomavirus or HPV. Usually, a pregnant woman’s immune system is not effective or strong enough as it used to be to fight infections. Once the genital warts develop, they are more prone to increase their size and number.

Most people think that genital warts decrease the chances of becoming pregnant. Genital warts are not known to cause infertility in both men and women. However, having genital warts during pregnancy can result in other negative effects. The condition increases a pregnant woman’s expenses to avail of the drugs needed to resolve the condition. Emotional stress is also experienced by the expectant mother since genital warts pose a great deal of risks for her unborn child, especially during delivery. Premature labor and miscarriage among the HPV-infected pregnant women have been reported though more solid evidences are needed to fully establish the associations between these conditions.

Mode of Transmission
The mode of transmission from mother to child is not completely understood. Infection has been reported during prenatal and postnatal period. However, there is strong evidence that a vertical route of transmission of the HPV is a rare occurrence. Most of the time, with proper treatment and management, most babies of infected mothers are delivered healthy and are HPV-free. Women who have had infection in the past and were properly treated should not be worried because most of the time, infected women deliver healthy babies.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of genital warts in a pregnant women is not at all different from a what a non-pregnant woman experiences. The most common complaint of most patients, pregnant or not, is the growth of lesions themselves, followed by abnormal vaginal discharge and vaginal pruritus or itchiness. At times, bleeding after sexual intercourse, pain and burning sensation in the affected area are also reported.

Genital Wart Management and Treatment During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant and you notice small, flat and cauliflower-like lesions growing on your genital area, first and foremost, do not touch them! You might spread the virus to the different parts of your body just by doing this. Consultation with your obstetrician should be your top priority so that a proper treatment regimen will be given to you. You need the guidance of a healthcare professional to plan on how you will be delivering your baby. During normal spontaneous delivery, the vaginal wall undergoes a great deal of stretching in preparation for the passage of the newborn. Genital warts on the vaginal wall may affect its distensibility and elasticity, which could result in difficult and prolonged labor. This is the reason why most pregnant women who have genital warts are recommended to deliver through a caesarean section.

Many of the usual treatment modalities for genital warts are contraindicated for use in pregnancy. The safety of most drugs on the developing baby has not been fully established. And so, for an infected pregnant woman, cryosurgery is the most commonly used treatment modality for genital warts. Obstetricians advocate the removal of these lesions to prevent proliferation and bleeding as the lesions are friable. If vaginal lesions are present, a caesarean section should be considered to avoid excessive bleeding of the lesions during the birth process. Also, a caesarean section can avoid the possibility of the newborn to have or acquire laryngeal papillomatosis, or infection of the vocal cords, brought about by the human papilloma virus types 6 and 11. This condition can lead to respiratory distress or even death. However, no controlled studies have been done in order to prove that caesarean delivery decreases the incidence of this possibility.

Genital Warts in Men

Much information has been shared about the occurrence of genital warts in young and adult women. Human Papilloma Virus or HPV, a group of viruses that commonly cause genital warts, are thought to cause different types of cancers, such as cervical carcinoma, in infected females. The devastating effects of HPVs in women have fired up media attention. Many support groups were established to provide women with adequate information regarding its prevention and treatment.

But what about men? Are they at risk to have genital warts, too?

Because the incidence of genital wart growth in the male population is rarely discussed, many thought that its prevalence among men is not as significant as it is seen in women. In actuality, around 50% of sexually active males in the United States will acquire HPV at some time in their life. Though some might eventually clear out the virus of the system, other men can develop health problems, such as genital warts. HPV causes genital or venereal in men the same rate that it affects the women.

Some HPV types can result in malignancies of the anus and penis. According to the latest survey, 1,530 men were diagnosed with cancer of the penis and around 1,910 are found with anus cancer. The risk for anal cancer increases by 17% in sexually active gay and bisexual men compared to men who engage in sexual activities entirely with women.

Penile Warts

Penile warts are characterized by small and benign or non-cancerous growths on the penis, most commonly on the head and shaft. Penile warts usually appear as multiple lesions, though single raised lesions, measuring 1 to 2 millimeters, are seen in some cases. Genital warts can develop in various forms. Some penile warts appear smooth and pearly. Others might appear lobulated, fungating or cauliflower-like shaped. It is important to note any irregularity of wart shape, form or color as they could indicate more a complicated case of HPV infection.

Penile warts are considered as highly infectious. Once the virus gains access through a broken skin, it is more likely to infect the host cells. Hand-genital and oral-genital transmissions have been identified in HPVs, and so, these viruses can easily spread to other areas of the body without appropriate hygiene.

Genital Warts in Other Areas

Genital warts in males are not limited to the penis. Eruptions can also grow on the scrotum, groin, inner thighs, urethra, anus, mouth and the surrounding skin. Since HPVs mainly infect the skin and mucus membranes, any area in the body is susceptible to the virus if the conditions are suitable, such as in cases of immunosuppression.

Though the development of genital warts in men might manifest some signs and symptoms, some are asymptomatic, which means, they do not feel any changes associated to the infection This is one of the reasons why almost one million new cases of genital warts are recorded each year. Most infected individuals continue to have unprotected intimate relationships without knowing they actually have the disease. Because some genital warts grow in discreet areas, such as within the anus, uninfected partners believe that their sex partners are STD-free

Itching is commonly reported by infected individuals. Burning and painful sensations in the penis also occurs. Abnormal discharges coming from the penis are also observed, most especially in advanced HPV infections. Genital warts within the anus cause bloody anal discharges and changes in bowel movements. Enlargement and swelling of the lymph nodes in the anal and groin areas are also seen in some cases.

Treatment and Prevention

Total abstinence from any type of sexual activity is the most effective preventive measure against genital warts. If this is not possible, ensure that latex condoms are worn during sexual activities, which include oral and anal sex. Condoms do not entirely prevent HPV infections but they are greatly helpful in reducing the risk of transmission. Bear in mind that condom use is less likely to prevent the spread of warts in the scrotum and groin. These areas are not protected by the condom during sexual activities.

A vaccine has been developed to help women acquire immunity against HPVs. Though no known vaccine is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, many research groups are constantly searching for HPV protection and treatment for men.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Defined

A four-fold increased in its prevalence in the last two decades has recently been reported. At present, approximately 10% to 15% of the 20 million Americans are infected with HPV. The actual number of infected individuals is believed to be more than the stated figures. Many who have acquired the HPV do not physically exhibit its usual clinical manifestations, and so, there is a significant number of individuals who are unaware that they already have the virus and that they are transmitting it to their partners.

Genital warts are mainly transmitted through sexual contact. According to researchers, around two thirds of individuals who engage in sexual activities with an HPV-infected partner acquire the genital warts. The number increases with multiple sexual partners. It is important to emphasize that the transmission of the virus is not limited to an actual vaginal intercourse. The spread of the virus could also occur with anal and oral sex. Once HPV gains access to the bloodstream through a skin break, no matter how small it is, the eruption of genital warts is more likely to occur within three months of exposure.

What is HPV?

Human papilloma virus or HPV is a group of double-stranded DNA viruses that typically cause infections of the skin and mucus membranes, which include the mouth, vaginal walls, anus and cervix. At present, there are more than 40 types of HPVs associated to anus and genital warts.

Human papilloma viruses are classified into two categories: the low risk group and the high risk group. The classification is mainly based on their association to cancer. The low risk group includes the HPV types 6 and 11, the most causative agents of venereal warts or condylomata acuminata. These viruses bring about benign lesions in the lower genital tract and rarely cause the development of malignant lesions. In contrast, though the viruses belonging to the high risk group are not likely to cause genital warts, their effects on the body are more severe. These HPVs are known to cause malignancies of the anogenital tract. HPV-16 and HPV-19, classified as high-risk viruses, are identified in 70% of squamous carcinoma of the cervix.

Viruses are not visibly seen through the naked eye. They can only be identified through a microscope. These microorganisms are in need human hosts in order to multiply and survive. Replication of viruses, including the HPVs, occurs by taking over the cell’s machinery and metabolism after inserting their genetic material within the host cell.

How HPVs Cause Genital Warts

Human papilloma viruses are transmitted through close surface contacts – skin to skin, mucus membrane to mucus membrane or skin to mucus membrane. Thus, it is mainly transmitted through sexual and intimate activities. HPVs commonly infect the genital tract, although there are cases when the genital warts develop in the mouth and anal areas.

Once an individual engages in any sexual activity with an infected person and he/she has an open wound or lesion, the virus gains access and penetrates through the basal layer of the epithelium, the skin’s outermost layer. Within the body, the HPV attaches to and penetrates the host cell. Afterward, it begins to integrate its genetic material into the host’s DNA. Once the virus’ DNA is inserted into the host’s, it would be difficult to control its multiplication as the newly introduced genes turn into a permanent part of the cell’s DNA. Infected cells initially develop into lumps, and later, to cauliflowered-shaped lesions, which is the usual form of genital warts.

The Genital Warts and Cancer Connection

In this day and age where sexually transmitted diseases (STD) is fast becoming a worldwide problem, learning all about the facts might be lifesaving. The number of cases of genital warts is growing in an exponential rate since genital warts are contagious. Sexual transmission is the primary mode of transmission, although vertical transmission could happen. An infected pregnant woman can easily infect her unborn child through transmission of the virus during the course of pregnancy or during birth. Auto inoculation can also occur if the virus can find its way through a broken skin.

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the causative agent of genital warts, and there are over 40 strains that can affect the genital area. HPV Types 6 and 11 cause the most common visible warts but they rarely cause cancer. On the other hand, Types 16, 18, 31, 33 and 35 are not so common but they strongly suggested as the culprits of pre-cancerous stages of penile and vulvar carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the genital area.

So, is there a link between genital warts and cancer?

Our body’s immune system is programmed to eliminate any type of infection that our body gets. When a high-risk HPV type or the type that most commonly cause cancer, is not eradicated by the body’s immune system, it can linger in the body for many years until the body’s defenses are down, HPVs can attack the normal cells and turn them into cancerous cells over time.

Some HPV types, the high-risk types, can result in significant cellular changes of the infected cells. Any altered cell has an inclination to malfunction. After a period of time, the changes get so severe that the infected cells get out control. Abnormal cells begin to multiply rapidly and act as autonomous units, meaning, they do not function in accordance to the needs of the body. In addition, since cancer cells are so demanding to support their growth and reproduction, they aggressively compete for the energy that normal cells need in order to function. Because the HPV was able to integrate its genetic material into the cell’s DNA, treating and eliminating cancerous cells are difficult.

Pain, bleeding and itchiness of the genital area are the most common symptoms of genital warts. If these happen, first and foremost, before you do any type of treatment, make sure that it is a wart and not any other condition. Warts have a broken surface filled with tiny red dots. If the surface have irregular borders and color, it may be best to consult a gynecologist or a doctor who specializes in women’s diseases before you do anything.

As always, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Practicing safe sex is the number one way of fighting this disease. Although the use of condoms to prevent this disease is controversial, condoms can still provide a barrier so the virus would not be able to penetrate the mucosa readily. Also, knowing the sexual history of your partner is of utmost importance in order to prevent it.

There is no known complete cure for cancers caused Human Papilloma Virus, but a healthy immune system can boost your body to prevent it. Cervical cancer is one of the cancers that are amenable to treatment, especially when diagnosed during the early stage. A vaccine is now available to protect women from the four strains that most commonly cause the genital warts and cancer. The vaccine is recommended to girls who are at their puberty (ages 11 and above) and for those women who are sexually active. So, visiting your gynecologist once in a while will be most beneficial for your health. The other HPV-related cancers, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are available to these patients depending on the type and stage of their disease.

Treatment Options for Advanced or Complicated Genital Warts

Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus or HPV. At present, around 80 types of HPV have been isolated and identified in individuals with genital warts. HPV types 16 and 18, considered as high-risk types, have been the most extensively studied since there is strong evidence that these types are the causative agents in the development of cancers of the uterine cervix and external genitalia. Genital warts may appear as small, flat, velvety, hyperpigmented papules present on the genitalia, perianal skin or extragenital areas. HPV infections are also associated with squamous cell carcinomas in the extragenital skin.

Various treatment regimens are available to eliminate genital warts, but there is no single therapy has been recommended. Several factors should be considered before deciding on the treatment modality. Factors such as the location of the warts, the age of the patient, the extent of the infection, the health status of the patient, and most important of all, is the willingness of the infected person to be treated. Instituting treatment reduces the severity of the infection, however, it does not totally eliminate the virus from the body.

There medications, both natural and synthetic, that can be applied in the convenience of your home, but one must follow the label instructions carefully and be very cautious in using these solutions. Some are known to cause allergic reactions, and so, it is important to consult your physician before beginning any drug treatment to control the growth of genital warts.

The majority of genital warts have been observed to respond to treatment within three months of therapy. If this is not achieved, a visit to a doctor is again recommended in order to change the treatment regimen or to do a biopsy to differentiate the common genital warts from those that are strongly associated to carcinomas.

For complicated and untreatable genital warts, the following have been recommended:

  1. Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen
    For advanced and complicated cases of genital warts, cryotherapy is usually recommended by physicians. The success rate of genital wart control is high through cryosurgery. This procedure utilizes extreme cold to destroy abnormal growths on the skin, which include genital warts. It literally freezes the genital warts to destroy and eliminate them. It is important to emphasize that this procedure should only be done by a licensed physician as it can be excruciating and unsafe without the use of appropriate methods.

    Liquid nitrogen is usually utilized to treat genital warts. To achieve wart removal, the genital warts are either directly applied with a cotton swab soaked in liquid nitrogen or sprayed on with liquid nitrogen. This substance causes rapid freezing of the warts, and subsequently, causes tissue destruction. Initially, blisters form around warts. As the blisters heal, they fall off together with the genital warts. Complete destruction of the genital warts require several cryotherapy sessions. The procedure is usually repeated after one to two weeks.

    Because it is minimally invasive, cryosurgery is also recommended to pregnant women with genital warts. Additionally, side effects and complications of this procedure are at a minimum, which makes it one of the most effective and safest procedures to control wart growth.

  2. Surgical removal.
    Removal of genital warts is also done through excision or laser surgery. Laser surgery destroys genital warts by burning them with through a laser. These modalities are advantageous for it eliminates the warts in just one visit. Patients who have a lot of genital warts will most benefit from this modality.

Because no single therapeutic modality has been proven to be effective, many clinicians employ combination therapy to treat genital warts, although some doctors believe that this also increases the risks of complications.

Wartrol for Genital Wart Relief

You never thought it could happen to you. Since you found those small lumps in your genitalia, you have been having severe itchiness in your private area. Burning sensations and painful urination were annoying.  You cannot seem to do anything normal the past few weeks — the pain and itchiness have caused you to lose hours of quiet sleep. Moving around has been uncomfortable. You have totally lost control over your life. And now, your doctor has finally confirmed that you have genital warts.

Wartrol, a genital wart relief, can effectively and safely alleviate the annoying and conniving symptoms of genital warts. A homeopathic remedy, Wartrol is made up of carefully prepared natural herbs and minerals that are traditionally known to relieve symptoms associated to genital warts.

For centuries, black sulphide of Antimony and wild yellow indigo, the active components of Wartrol, have been used to treat various skin diseases and alleviate their associated symptoms. Black sulphide of Antimony, obtained from the mineral stibnite, has been used to treat warts, anal itching and burning sensation during urination. Wild yellow indigo, a leafy plant, is utilized to treat various skin, mouth and throat infections. It also boosts up one’s immune system, which is necessary to prevent the occurrence and recurrence of genital warts. Its two other components, nitric acid and potassium hydrate can cure warts on the skin, mouth and genital areas. Wartrol is a natural way to strengthen your body’s innate defenses against the damaging effects of HPV.

Wartrol is considered a homeopathic remedy treatment of genital warts, which is the leading sexually transmitted disease worldwide. It is fully regulated by the United Stated Food and Drug Administration or FDA, ensuring safety during its intake. In addition, Wartrol is governed by the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States.

But what exactly is a homeopathic treatment? Homeopathy is a system of medicine practiced by skilled health care professionals throughout the world.  It has been around for over 200 years. Homeopathy treats various health conditions through the use of heavy and diluted preparations of natural and active substances. The basic principle of homeopathy, likes can cures likes, is initially introduced in the fifth century by Hippocrates.  In 1801, the Principle of Similars is developed by Samuel Hahnemann, M.D. after working on his intensive research that involves the Cinchona bark. Hahnemann stated that the administration of homeopathic medicines in small doses could treat the symptoms similar to what these medicines can produce. For example, a large dose of syrup of Ipecac can induce vomiting, and at the same time, homeopathic or small dose of the same substance can relieve vomiting. In addition, homeopathy recognizes each human being as a unique biological and psychological entity with different needs. Every disease has its own set of signs and symptoms, And so, homeopathy strives for individualization of treatments based on the principle of holism: the healing of the mind, body and spirit.

Aside from the ability of Wartrol to control the symptoms associated to genital warts, it also boosts the immune system to help the body fight off the virus and to encourage healing. Homeopathic medicine believes that the body has innate abilities to heal itself. Through Wartrol, the body is stronger and more equipped to protect itself from recurring genital warts.

True to the ideals of homeopathic medicine, Watrol does not do any harm, only good, if used as directed. Wartrol is safe and effective in the treatment of genital warts but it is essential to consult your physician for further evaluation. If you have been infected with genital warts, inform your partner about your condition, and always practice safe sex. Wartrol is contraindicated in pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

Regain control of your life with Wartrol.

What to Do If You Found Warts in Your Genital Areas

Genital warts usually begin as small bumps that may grow to form large, fungating or cauliflower-like lesions in the vulva, which include the external genital organs between the vagina and anus in women and the scrotum and anus in men. In women, vaginal mucosa, as well as the urethra, may also be affected. Although uncommon, men can also have genital warts in the head and shaft of the penis, the scrotum and the urethra.

The human papilloma virus or HPV is the causative agent of genital warts. Most commonly, it is transmitted through sexual contacts, and it affects both men and women. The lesions are much larger and more resembling a cauliflower in patients who are diabetic, are pregnant, who are taking oral contraceptives, or are immunocompromised.

Once you observe any of these, the following guidelines would be most helpful if one suspects that he or she might have genital warts:

  1. The first thing to do is not to touch it! Autoinoculation or self-infection can happen. Bear in mind that the human papilloma virus can thrive anywhere in the body. Thus, any part can become infected.
  2. Be sure that it is a wart. Several people misdiagnose a common mole as a wart. One way to differentiate the two is that a wart is involves thickening of the outer skin layer but a mole does not.
  3. Consult your doctor. True, every woman dreads the feeling of the speculum inside her, but, better to be safe than sorry! The diagnosis of genital warts is usually made by visual inspection and is confirmed by a biopsy. A biopsy usually is indicated if the diagnosis is not certain, the lesions do not respond or worsens during therapy, the patient is immunocompromised or if there is a change in the color, size and the character of the lesion. The acetic acid application test is the test most gynecologists use to identify flat, genital warts. A 3%-5% acetic acid solution is applied on the suspected infected genital mucosal whitish tissue. If positive for the test, the genital mucosal tissue will turn to whitish color.
  4. Be celibate or practice safe sex. If you love your partner, you wouldn’t want him/her to be infected. Sexual intercourse is the primary mode of transmission of the human papilloma virus. There is still a considerable debate on the effectiveness of condoms in the prevention of HPV-related infections. But, as it is, condoms can still provide a barrier between the genital mucosa and the virus, thus decreasing the chances of acquiring the infection.
  5. Give Wartrol a try. Wartrol, a homeopathic remedy, can alleviate symptoms associated to genital warts. Composed of natural herbs and minerals, Wartol is both effective and safe in destroying the warts. Be sure to follow the instructions on the labels carefully before you apply it, and be compliant in its application.
  6. Pregnant? DON’T TRY PODOPHYLLIN. Podophyllin has been proven to be teratogenic and can cause abnormal defects in the newborn. If you are pregnant, or suspects that you are pregnant, consult your doctor immediately for institution of appropriate medical treatment as well as proper timing and mode of delivery of your baby.

For most patients, genital warts usually respond within 3 months of therapy. If no improvement has been observed within this period, it is better to again consult your doctor for evaluation of the course of your therapy and change your treatment regimen.

If the treatment regimen is done properly, complications rarely occur, although there can be the persistence of hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation.

What Are Genital Warts?

Genital warts are the raised, flesh-colored lesions found on the infected person’s genital area and its surrounding skin. Also known as venereal warts or condylomata acuminata, genital warts are caused by a Human Papilloma Virus or HPV, a double-stranded DNA virus that is mainly transmitted through sexual intimate activities, such as vaginal intercourse, anal sex and oral sex.

HPVs are transmitted when the virus is able to penetrate the body’s first line of defenses — the skin and the mucus membranes. Once a skin break occurs, no matter how small it is, HPV gains access to the host cell by attaching and penetrating the outermost layer of the skin. Subsequently, it begins its replication by taking over the cell’s metabolism. These viruses insert their genetic materials into the cell’s DNA.

According to the latest survey, it is estimated that around one million new cases of genital warts are clinically diagnosed each year, making it the most common sexually transmitted disease or STD in the United states, and probably, worldwide. Because there are times that the HPV infections of the skin and mucus membranes are not visibly seen, it is believed that the actual occurrence of genital warts is significantly higher than the given figures. Both sexes are equally susceptible to acquire the infection but from the report of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is revealed that women are more likely to exhibit the genital warts.

To date, there are more than 75 types of HPVs identified that causes the growth of genital warts. Approximately 90% of genital warts are caused by the types HPV-6 and HPV-11. These types are classified as low-risks for malignancies. Other wart-causing HPVs are strongly associated to squamous carcinoma of the cervix. Thus, it is recommended to consult a physician once lumps in the genital region are recognized.

Genital warts are commonly seen in the perineum, which includes the structures found in the area between the anus and the scrotum in men and between the anus and the vaginal opening in women. They could also grow within the vaginal walls, on the cervix, in the urethra, anus and mouth. Because of varying locations of the lesions, some cases of genital warts are undetected until other signs and symptoms and complications of HPV come about.

Signs and symptoms of venereal warts do not occur immediately after the body’s exposure to the virus. The eruption of warts could occur weeks, months or years after the virus’ infection. Researchers approximated that genital warts usually develop three to eight months after the body’s initial exposure to HPV.

Initially, genital warts usually appear as single lumps, measuring between 1 to 2 millimeters. After a period of time, these growths clump together, forming a cauliflower-like lesion, where the head of the lump grows larger than the area of attachment. Genital warts could take on different forms. Though a cauliflower-like shape is commonly seen, venereal warts can appear smooth, plaque-like, and pearly.

Vaginal condylomas are described as multiple, raised and white growths, which typically bleed after sexual intercourse. Genital warts found in the cervical area appear as single and flat lumps and occur with abnormal discharges. The condition is usually aggravated with untreated infections of the urethra and vagina. Growth of venereal warts in the urethra is usually rare. It frequently results from HPV infection of the surrounding skin. Urethral warts are manifested by difficulty in urinating, blood spotting and abnormal discharges. In men, genital warts usually grow on the shaft or head of the penis. Though genital warts might result in different manifestations, generally, they are associated to itching, tenderness and burning sensations. In some cases genital warts might be painless.