The Facts of Genital Warts..
Published by Jason Finch
What are Genital warts?
Genital warts are very common in England, they are the second most common type of sexually transmitted infection (STI) after chlamydia. They are small fleshy growths, bumps or skin changes that appear on or around the genital or anal area.
They are usually painless and do not pose a serious health threat also they can appear unsightly and cause psychological distress.
How do they spread?
Genital warts are mainly spread during vaginal or anal sex or by sharing sex toys. However, you do not need to have penetrative sex to pass the infection on because HPV (The Human Papillomavirus) is spread by skin-to-skin contact.
If you are in a relationship and you get genital warts, it doesn’t necessarily mean your partner has been having sex with other people, It can take up to one year for warts to develop after infection with HPV.
Remember, not even condoms can give full protection from genital warts, it is possible for the skin around your genital area (not covered by the condom) to become infected.
Who is affected?
Genital warts are most common in sexual active teenagers and young adults. The highest rates of genital warts occur in males aged between 20 and 24 and females aged between 16 and 19. According to the health protection agency, in 2010 there were over 75,000 news cases of genital warts diagnosed by GUM (genitor-urinary-medicine)
Warts in men
The most common places for genital warts to develop in men are:
- on the shaft of the penis, usually just below the foreskin, which occurs in about half of all cases
- around the anus, which occurs in 1 in 3 cases
- on the glans (the head of the penis), which occurs in 1 in 10 cases
- inside the urethra, which occurs in 1 in 10 cases
- under the foreskin, which occurs in 1 in 12 cases
- between the anus and scrotum (the bag that contains the testicles), which occurs in
around 1 in 30 cases
- on the scrotum, which occurs in 1 in 100 cases
Warts in women
The most common places for genital warts to develop in women are:
- around the vulva (the opening of the vagina), which occurs in 2 out of 3 cases of genital warts
- inside the vagina, which occurs in 1 in 3 cases
- between the vagina and the anus, which occurs in 1 in 3 cases
- around the anus, which occurs in 1 in 4 cases
- on the cervix (the neck of the womb), which occurs in 1 in 10 cases
- at the opening of the urethra, which occurs in 1 in 25 cases
How is it treated?
There are 2 mains types of treatment for genital warts:
- Topical Treatment – Where a cream, lotion or chemical is applied directly to the wart or warts.
- Physical ablation – Where the tissue of the wart is destroyed using external forces, such as laser or electricity.
Many people respond differently to treatments for genital warts. However, Topical treatments tend to work better on softer warts, and physical ablation tends to work better on harder and rougher feeling warts. sometimes, a combination of topical treatment and physical ablation can be used.
It is important to be patient and persevere with either of the treatment, as both types can take several months to remove the warts.
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