Genital warts are a common sexually transmitted infection (STI)
About Genital Warts
Genital warts are passed on by vaginal and anal sex, sharing sex toys and sometimes oral sex.
Signs and Symptoms
If you have some of these symptoms you may have genital warts:
- One or more painless growths or lumps around your vagina, penis or anus
- Itching or bleeding from your genitals or anus
- A change to your normal flow of pee that does not go away
- A sexual partner who has genital warts, even if you do not have symptoms
How is it Transmitted?
Genital warts can be passed on even when there are no visible warts. After you get the infection, it can take weeks or months before symptoms appear.
You can get genital warts from:
- Skin-to-skin contact, including vaginal and anal sex
- Sharing sex toys
- Oral sex, but this is rare
How to Get Tested
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You can stop genital wars from being passed on by:
- Using a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex
- Not having sex while you’re having treatment for genital warts
- Not sharing sex toys
The treatment for genital warts needs to be prescribed by a doctor.
- Cream or liquid you apply yourself a few times a week for several weeks
- A doctor or nurse may cut, burn or use a laser to remove the warts
- A doctor or nurse freezes the warts
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Contacting a sexual health service for the first time can be a little daunting, so here are some easy answers to many of the questions you may have.
Is there a cure for genital warts?
There’s no cure for genital warts, but it’s possible for your body to fight the virus over time.
Why do genital warts come back?
Genital warts come back because they are caused by the HPV virus. The HPV virus can stay in your skin and warts can develop again.
What to do if you think you have genital warts?
Call our helpline or go to a sexual health clinic as soon as possible if you think you have genital warts. They’ll often get test results quicker than GP practices and you do not have to pay a prescription fee for treatment