Genital Warts Symptoms

Genital warts, also known as condylomata acuminata or venereal warts, are caused by a virus called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is the most commonly occurring sexually transmitted disease with more than 50 million Americans currently infected. On average, more than 5.5 million new cases appear every year in the United States. HPV comes in many strains, but certain strains cause fleshy lumps to appear on the genital region of both males and females. These are genital warts.

Where Do Genital Warts Appear?

Genital warts can take months to appear, and when they do they may grow internally or they may be too small to be seen with the naked eye. On women, warts may appear internally inside the vagina or on the cervix, on or around the labia, or on the anus. On men, warts can also appear on the anus as well as on the urethra, penis, and scrotum. Genital warts will rarely appear in the mouth or throat after oral sex with an infected partner.

What Do Genital Warts Look Like?

Genital warts can range in appearance from flat and smooth to raised and bumpy; they can be large or tiny; they can be pink, red, gray, white, or brown; and they tend to grow in clusters and can even take on the shape of cauliflower. Because of the variation in appearance of genital warts, and because they can be extremely tiny, they can sometimes be hard to diagnose.

Symptoms In Addition To Warts

Genital warts can sometimes cause itchiness and irritation and bleeding after intercourse, and in women they can also cause smelly vaginal discharge. However, genital warts often do not cause any additional symptoms other than their appearance. Despite this they can still be unsightly and embarrassing and most people choose to treat their genital warts.