Articles on: STIs

Genital warts 101

What is Genital Warts?

Genital warts are a STI and are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and affects both women and men, but women are more vulnerable to complications.

How does a Genital Warts infection occur?

Unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex;
Sharing sex toys with an infected person; or
Close genital contact (even if there’s no penetration, orgasm, or ejaculation).

The majority of cases of Genital Warts are caused by HPV. There are around 40 strains of HPV that specifically affect the genitals, but only a few cause Genital Warts. Genital Warts are considered an STI because the HPV virus is highly contagious through skin-to-skin contact.

What are the symptoms of Genital Warts?

Symptoms usually occur within 3 weeks to 3 months of exposure, although Genital Warts symptoms can flare up at any time after infection or not occur at all. Symptoms of Genital Warts may include:

Soft skin like growths (flesh-coloured or grey) may appear on the penis, scrotum, vagina, cervix, rectum or thighs;
Soft skin like growths (flesh-coloured or grey) may appear on the mouth, lips, tongue or throat when exposed to HPV orally;
Vaginal itching or bleeding;
Anal itching or bleeding; or
A change to your normal directional flow of your urine.

It is estimated that the majority of individuals will not have symptoms when they have a HPV infection. However, It is still possible to pass HPV on to others through the transmission methods mentioned above.

How is Genital Warts treated?

Genital Warts can be treated with a prescription based topical cream.

Contro's Partner Doctor's are able to assist you with obtaining the correct treatment plan for Genital Warts. Sign up here, book a private and affordable consultation and get your medication delivered free to your door in discreet packaging.

Do I have to finish my course of medication?

Yes, you must always take and finish your course of prescription medication as prescribed by your attending doctor.

When should I get treatment for Genital Warts?

If you or your partner(s) have any of the above symptoms, your partner tells you they have Genital Warts or another STI, or you had unprotected sex with someone new, you should either get tested or seek treatment immediately. Unless you have symptoms, it is recommend that you wait 3 weeks from the time of exposure to test for Genital Warts as Genital Warts can take up 3 weeks to be detected.

If you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant, and are concerned you may have Genital Warts, you should should seek immediate attention and/or advice from a medical professional.
If you believe you have Genital Warts you should either get tested or seek treatment immediately from a qualified medial professional.

What if I don't treat Genital Warts?

If left untreated and unattended to, Genital Warts has the ability to cause long-term health complications such as:

Abnormal urine flow in men;
Bleeding from the urethra, vagina, or anus;
Vaginal discharge; or
Cancers of the cervix, vulvar, vagina, penis, anus or throat can develop and be fatal.

For any further information related to Gonorrhea please book a consultation with one of our Partner Doctors who will be able to assist you further. For all non-medical queries you're welcome to contact us through our chat service or at between the hours of 9:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday. Otherwise leave us a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Updated on: 21/02/2024

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