.Many people may have heard about genital warts but do not understand that it is a sexually transmitted disease. Also, most people are unaware of the cause of this disease and how exactly it is transmitted. Some strains of the human papillomavirus cause warts in the genital area. While exposure to other strains will cause a wart infection on other parts of the body like the hands, feet, and face. And in severe cases cancer of the cervix and anus. The first signs of a wart are usually the first recognizable symptom of exposure to a type of papilloma virus.
Research has determined that the subtypes 6 and 11 of the virus, are responsible for over 90% of genital wart cases. Only about 1 – 5% of those exposed to a strain of HPV will develop warts. Making it difficult to identify without specific testing. Even when a person shows no symptoms of being infected with the Human Papillomavirus, they can still transmit the virus to another individual.
Protecting yourself against Genital Warts
Like most STD infections, the risk of being exposed to Human Papilloma Virus can be greatly reduced with the proper use of a condom. A homogenous relationship with a significant other will also help prevent exposure. Although a condom will help protect vital areas of the body from becoming infected. Areas of the skin not covered by a condom also face the risk of becoming infected.
There are now two vaccines available that will help prevent infection. The vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix will help prevent most HPV infections along with genital warts. Particularly the types responsible for causing cervical and anal cancers.
Identifying the Signs and Symptoms of Genital Warts
The earliest symptoms of genital warts are small bumps or groups and clusters of small bumps around or on the genital skin. Depending on the strain of the virus, it could remain unchanged, or even heal up and dissipate.
It is important that women follow-up with their gynecologists annually and receive Pap smear tests to watch for any changes in the cervix cells.
Receiving Treatment for Genital Warts
There are treatments available that can remove warts from the skin, and help the physical genital wart symptoms. A health care provider, preferably a gynecologist, can freeze off and remove warts during an office visit. There are also prescription medications available that can help relieve the physical symptoms of warts. It is important to remember though, that even when warts are not visible, the Human Papillomavirus can still be contagious.
HPV-related cancers are very treatable when caught in the early stages; this is why it is very important for women to keep up with routine appointments with their gynecologist. Males can also benefit with routine checkups, although their risk for complications is not as high as in women. The HPV virus or genital warts infection is the most common STI infection, but by taking all the necessary precautions, anyone with this condition can live a full and healthy life.