As an outbreak of genital warts is the most common sexually transmitted infection around, it is quite likely that a lot of people you know have either had them have got them or will have them at some stage in their sexual history. Both men and women can contract the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes the genital warts to erupt and the virus, which is extremely contagious, spreads around the genital regions by mere skin to skin contact. Men find them on their penis, under their foreskin, on the scrotum, around and in the urethra and around the anus while women find them on the vulva, the cervix, the anus and on the vagina. These vaginal warts can grow externally and internally.
Warts on the outer genitals can be easily recognized. They can appear singly or in clusters and are usually flesh colored bumps or lesions which may cause no irritation at all except for slight itchiness. If these are not treated they can quickly grow and take on a ‘cauliflower’ like appearance.
When the warts are internal, things become more complicated. For women, as we have mentioned, the warts can invade the cervix and vagina. These internal warts are usually flat and cannot be easily recognized without special procedures. Women may undergo a pelvic examination that can reveal growths on the vaginal wall and a colopscopy (magnification) can reveal warts that are not visible to the naked eye. The cervix and vagina may also be swabbed with acetic acid to show the existence of any warts. Regular smear tests will also show any changes that are associated with HPV.
Although someone with genital warts may not experience any symptoms, with vaginal warts they may have itching around the vagina and vulva and can also experience abnormal vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse, they may also have increased vaginal discharge.
If you suspect you have vaginal warts, it really is important to seek medical advice for many reasons. First of all, abnormalities of the vagina and cervix should always be looked at just in case the warts turn out to be a cancerous strain of the HPV (they are very rare but they do exist), secondly, untreated, these warts can grow inside and start to cause obstructions during urination and if pregnant, large warts can present problems during delivery. They make the vagina wall less elastic and make it harder for the baby. On top of this, in rare cases, the baby contracts HPV through contact with the warts and then develops warts or tumors in its own respiratory tract, causing a potentially life threatening illness. You also have a duty to protect your sexual partner who is obviously at great risk of contracting the virus from you.
Removal of the warts will not kill off the virus itself and it will probably remain dormant inside your body. Even after the warts have gone, there is always the possibility of another outbreak occurring at any time. Vaginal warts, in fact any genital wart, should be dealt with as soon as possible just to be on the safe side.
© Megan Jackson
Megan is a teacher who likes to help people with genital warts issues. She is also a platinum-level expert author on EzineArticles.com which is the world’s largest article directory. Megan recommends using natural and homeopathic approaches such as Wartrol. For a special discount, just click here.