What Causes Genital Warts and What are My Treatment Options?

Genital Warts

Genital warts develop after exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is an incredibly common infection that affects a whopping 79 million people each year in the United States. The good news is that most cases of genital warts are easily treated in a simple, in-office procedure.

At North Texas Obstetrics and Gynecology, our team of experts routinely handles genital warts among our patients in Plano, Texas, putting an end to the discomfort they can cause. Because of the prevalence of HPV and the ease with which it’s transmitted, all women should understand what genital warts are, what causes them, and perhaps most importantly, how we can successfully treat them.

The story behind genital warts

As we mentioned at the beginning, genital warts develop on the heels of an HPV infection, but not everyone who’s infected by HPV gets warts. There are more than 100 different strains of HPV and only a few, including HPV 6 and 11, are responsible for approximately 90% of genital warts. These strains are concerned low-risk and they aren’t linked to cancer.

There are many ways you can contract this sexually transmitted infection, including orally, vaginally, and anally — in other words direct skin contact — which may explain why the condition is so common, affecting between 360,000 and 400,000 people a year.

The warts, as their name implies, show up as bumps in your genital area, which can cause irritation and discomfort. Warts can present themselves in many different forms — as a single bump or a cluster of bumps and they generally prefer moist tissues in your genital area.

Left untreated, the warts may clear up on their own, stay the same, or increase, which makes a visit to us a good idea so we can take the question mark out of this equation. And besides, by having us remove them, we can reduce your chances of passing on the infection.

Treating genital warts

To remove your genital warts, we turn to several different methods depending upon their size, number, and location. (Please note that you should never use over-the-counter wart removal medication on your sensitive genital tissue.)

To eliminate your warts, we can:

In each of these cases, we perform the treatment right in our offices in a simple and quick procedure, after which you’re free to go home. You’ll need to refrain from sexual intercourse for a certain time period, depending upon where we removed the warts, as well as tampon use.

It’s important to note that just because we remove the warts, it doesn’t mean that we’ve eliminated the HPV infection, which you can still transmit to others. There’s no cure for HPV, but with removal, we reduce your chances of transmittal and relieve your discomfort.

If you’d like to learn more about your options when it comes to genital warts, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Or you can use the online booking tool on this website to set up an appointment.

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