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S E X U A L L Y   T R A N S M I T T E D   D I S E A S E S:
Genital Warts/Condyloma


What is it? Infections are caused either by viruses (like HIV) or bacteria. Genital warts/condyloma is caused by a virus called HPV (human papiloma virus).

How do you get it? Genital warts are transmitted from person to person in two ways:

  • Unprotected sexual contact (vaginal, oral, or anal) with someone who has genital warts.
  • Skin to skin contact with someone who has genital warts.

What are the symptoms? With genital warts, symptoms are the same for men and women.

  • Small, painless, cauliflower-like bumps that grow in or around the penis, vagina or anus.
  • There may be slight itching or irritation, especially with many warts.
  • Warts may be found on the cervix (the opening to the uterus) where the woman may not notice them.

Sometimes there are no symptoms and a person can still have this viral infection.

How can you know for sure? The bumps are examined by a doctor. The presence of the virus may be detected in women by a Pap test (where some cells are taken from the cervix and examined under a microscope). Colposcopy (use of a high-powered microscope) may be used to examine tissue for the condyloma virus.

How is it treated? Once a person is infected with condyloma, the virus stays in their body forever. Genital warts can be removed by:

  • Burning them off with chemicals
  • Electric current
  • Laser therapy
  • Liquid nitrogen (this will freeze off the warts)
  • Minor surgery (to cut them off if nothing else works)

What can happen if you don't take care of it? Untreated, genital warts can grow larger and deeper into the skin. Then they are harder to remove. They can also spread to new areas of the body. Cervical warts are associated with cervical cancer (that means that sometimes women who have cervical warts later develop cervical cancer). If a woman has cervical or vaginal warts at the time she gives birth, she can pass the virus on to her newborn child during delivery. If the cervical warts are not treated, the virus can spread to other sexual partners.

UNPROTECTED SEX PUTS YOU AT RISK FOR GETTING CERVICAL WARTS.

 

Want to learn more about Birth Control Options?

     
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