Genital warts HPV

What they are

You may have heard of warts that some people can get on their hands or feet Well, genital warts are similar (in look and annoyance factor!), except that they appear on your genitals. They are a common sexually transmitted infection and consist of small fleshy lumps, which are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

How you get them

You can get genital warts through close skin contact (including unprotected sex) with someone who has HPV. If you can’t see any warts, that doesn’t mean the coast is clear. You could get the virus (and pass it on too) even if there are no visible signs of the virus.

The symptoms

Similar to other STDs, there are often no symptoms. Sometimes the warts will appear inside the vagina, so they’ll be pretty tricky to see. They can also appear on the outside of the genitals as skin coloured growths (on both guys and girls) and they might hurt, itch or bleed.

Treatment

Although they can be uncomfortable, there is some good news. The body’s immune system will usually cause most warts to disappear without treatment after about six months. Many people just wait for the warts to go away on their own. But some larger warts may need to be treated. It’s best to ask your doctor for their professional opinion.

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