The condition of vaginal warts is known to be one of the most common STIs (sexually transmitted infection). The cause of the condition is the human papillomavirus or HPV.
Actually, there are over 100 different HPVs and they cause warts to the feet, hands and genital areas.
Information about HPV
When thinking about the warts of the vagina, you should know that there are some kinds of HPVs that cause changes in the cells of the cervix, leading to cervical cancer. This is why it is important to have regular screening tests.
On the other hand in case the warts of the vagina are visible they do not cause cervical cancer. This means that if you have been affected, you don’t need to have screenings more often than any other women.
How vaginal warts are transmitted?
The infection can be passed from one person to the other through sexual activity or through contact with the infected skin.
The bad thing about the infection is that the virus can be passed on before it even becomes noticeable, or after the visual signs have disappeared.
The warts of the vagina could be internal or external. In case of the women the warts are located in the vagina, cervix, vulva or anus.
In case of the male patients the warts appear around or on the penis, urethra, scrotum or the anus.
The virus of the vaginal warts could be transmitted through sexual intercourse including anal or vaginal sex or by sharing sex toys. On the other hand in some cases the infection can be passed on through close contact of the skin. Although it happens only rarely, it is possible to be infected through oral sex.
Also in rare cases the warts of the vagina can be passed on to the baby by the pregnant mother. Keep in mind that you can’t get infected by the virus through hugging, using swimming pools, sharing towels or baths, using cups, toilet seats or cutlery.
Symptoms of vaginal warts
In the majority of the cases when people get infected they show no signs or symptoms of the infection. It may take a long time for the visible signs to develop. In this case you will notice small bumps, growths or skin changes in the genital area, on the inside or on the outside.
It is possible for you or your partner to see or feel warts of the vagina. They can be flat, smooth, small or large and they could form in groups or appear singly. Usually they are painless, but it is also possible for them to itch and to get inflamed, resulting in bleeding.
Testing for vaginal warts
In case you think that you might be infected, you should get checked out. The testing of the infection is free at the GUM clinics and other health care facilities. The test can be performed any time after you think you got in contact with the virus. If you don’t have any visible signs, the nurse or doctor could ask you to return later.
In case the doctor suspects that you have warts of the vagina, then he or she will inspect the entire genital area. In order to detect warts the doctor could use a vinegar solution over the area.
Treatment of the infection
There are numerous different kinds of treatments in case of the visible vaginal warts. The treatment of the infection depends on the number of warts. You could apply a special lotion or cream on the warts. Keep in mind not to use the lotions you can buy in stores because in the majority of the cases they don’t work.
Another option to treat warts of the vagina is to burn them off with the help of heat. The doctor could also freeze them using a laser. There is the option of having a surgery to remove them too. You have the possibility to inject a drug in the wart as well, but this is a less common treatment option.
It is true that the treatments may be uncomfortable, but there should be no pain associated with vaginal warts. In case you would like to become pregnant, you should let your doctor know.