What is a Genital Wart?

Genital Warts develop as a symptom of infection with the human papillomavirus known as (HPV). Genital Warts known medically as Condyloma Acuminata, they are soft, moist bumps that are pink, black, brown, white, or flesh- toned. They also be raised, flat, or shaped like a cauliflower ( only if they grow in clusters). These warts may appear on your genital, anal or mouth areas.

Women:

Genital Warts can grow inside or on the outside of the vagina and anus on the surrounding areas, they will also grow on the cervix inside the body.

Men:

Genital Warts may appear on the penis or scrotum, and inside the urethra. They may also appear on the inside or outside of the anus, or on the surrounding areas.

Women and Men:

In both men and women, Condyloma Acuminata can also develop in the mouth and throat, and on the tongue and lips. HPV in now the leading cause of mouth cancer even if you have never smoked or chewed tobacco or drank alcohol. In fact, HPV causes almost all cases of cervical cancer, according to the CDC. The viral infection is also linked to:

  • 91% of anal cancers
  • 75% of vaginal cancers
  • 72% of cancers in the back of the throat ( Including the base of the tongue and tonsils)
  • 69% of vulvar cancers
  • 63% of penile cancers

While the CDC notes the links in these cases, the estimates don't necessarily mean that HPV caused these cancers, for instance they also have strong ties to tobacco and alcohol. Most Importantly, the types of HPV that cause genital warts are different from the types that cause cancer. But you should still go get yourself screened for all the above type of cancers if you have genital warts, because you may also be carrying a cancer- causing form of HPV, in addition to HPV 6 or 11.

Causes of Genital Warts

Genital Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus ( HPV), which is the most common sexually transmitted infection's in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC). The human papillomavirus isn't a single virus!  But rather a group of more than 150 related viruses. Each of these has a designated number, or HPV type. About 90% of genital warts are caused by HPV 6 and HPV 11. Other types can cause warts on other parts of the body. You can get genital warts if you have sex with someone who has HPV, even is they don't have any visible warts or other apparent symptoms of the infection! Although genital warts inside the anus predominately affect people who have had receptive anal intercourse, they can also occur in men and women who have no history of anal sexual contact.

You have an increased risk of developing and spreading genital warts if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Stressed and have another viral infection, such as herpes
  • Have a weakened immune system from medications or other health conditions, Including diabetes and HIV/ AIDs
  • Use tobacco or drink alcohol
  • Are sexually active at an early age, or have had protected or no protected sex with multiple partners
  • Have another sexually transmitted disease.