Print Overview Genital warts are one of the most common types of sexually transmitted infections. Nearly all sexually active people will become infected with at least one type of human papillomavirus HPV , the virus that causes genital warts, at some point during their lives. Women are somewhat more likely than men to develop genital warts. As the name suggests, genital warts affect the moist tissues of the genital area.
Genital warts - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic
Print Diagnosis Because it's often difficult to detect genital warts, your doctor may apply a mild acetic acid solution to your genitals to whiten any warts. Then, he or she may view them through a special magnifying instrument, a colposcope. Pap tests Pap test Pap test In a Pap test, your doctor uses a vaginal speculum to hold your vaginal walls apart. Next, a sample of cells from your cervix is collected using a small cone-shaped brush and a tiny wooden spatula 1 and 2. Your doctor then rinses the brush and spatula in a liquid-filled vial 3 and sends the vial to a laboratory for testing. For women, it's important to have regular pelvic exams and Pap tests, which can help detect vaginal and cervical changes caused by genital warts or the early signs of cervical cancer — a possible complication of genital HPV infection.
What kind of HPV infection causes warts, how are they treated and how dangerous are they? Many sexually active women worry about STDs, such as chlamydia or herpes. What causes external genital warts? There are more than 40 HPV types that can affect the genital area of women and men.