The symptoms of genital warts will vary from person to person. Not everyone who has the wart virus will have visible symptoms of genital warts. Warts may appear as growths or they may be flat and only slightly raised from the skin. They may be single or multiple, small or large. They tend to be flesh colored or whitish in appearance.
Some of the symptoms of genital warts include:
- Pink or gray colored lumps or swellings that appear around the genital area that quickly grow in size.
- Discomfort and severe itching
- A burning sensation around the genital area
- Pain and bleeding during intercourse
Sometimes genital warts are so small they cannot be seen with the naked eye. This is sometimes called "subclinical HPV". This means that a person may have no symptoms of genital warts and will not know that they have the virus in their bodies.
Many women with genital warts will not develop symptoms. However, a small number of HPV strains will cause cervical changes. For many women, the first symptom of genital warts may be an abnormal pap smear. A Pap smear, which is an examination of the cells from a woman's cervix, may determine her exposure to HPV genital warts. Depending on the degree of abnormality of a pap smear, a health care provider will recommend a repeat Pap smear or another type of testing.
Treatment for genital warts symptoms will relieve discomfort but will not "cure" the HPV virus. There is currently no cure for the virus. Treatments for genital warts symptoms range from medications that can be administered at home to procedures that require a series of doctor visits. Most medical professionals caution against home remedies for genital warts symptoms because some of the strong chemicals used to eliminate warts can be extremely irritating to the sensitive genital area if they are not applied sparingly and with precision.
If you have active symptoms of genital warts, it is recommended that you avoid sexual contact or use a condom until the warts are treated or removed. The changes of you transmitting HPV to an uninfected partner are much greater when genital warts symptoms are present.
It is important to talk with your doctor when you first notice genital wart symptoms. Like most health conditions, the chances of successful treatment increase when genital wart symptoms are addressed n the early stages.
GlossarySubclinical HPV: A version of the HPV virus that is not visible to the naked eye.
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