The most common symptom of genital warts is a small bump or group of bumps on the genitals. These bumps can appear as whitish or skin-colored lumps on the vulva, vagina, cervix, penis, scrotum, or anus. They may look like little pieces of cauliflower and can range in size from very small to large. In some cases, they may be too small to be visible to the naked eye.
Genital warts may cause itching but usually don't hurt. To diagnose genital warts, a doctor will examine you or take a biopsy (a sample of the wart). They may also take a blood sample to test for HIV and syphilis. Depending on the results, they may refer you to a specialist for further tests.
Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus is spread through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it, often during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. In rare cases, genital warts can multiply in large groups in people with weakened immune systems. Genital warts on the cervix or inside the vagina can cause changes in the cervix (dysplasia) that can lead to cervical cancer.
To reduce your risk of getting genital warts, limit your number of sexual partners and get vaccinated. Using a condom every time you have sex is also recommended but won't necessarily protect you from genital warts. If you have warts or red bumps on or around your genitals, if your partner has HPV or another STD, or your partner has genital warts, see your doctor or nurse or contact your local Planned Parenthood health center. Be sure to get screened for cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, or anus if you have been diagnosed with genital warts.
Genital warts are a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). They can appear as small bumps on the genitals and can range in size from very small to large. Itching is a common symptom but they usually don't hurt. Genital warts are spread through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it, often during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
If you have any symptoms that could be related to genital warts or if your partner has HPV or another STD, see your doctor or nurse or contact your local Planned Parenthood health center for testing and treatment options.