Genital Warts in Women- How to Tell if You Have One

Genital Warts in Women- How to Tell if You Have One

Genital warts are caused by HPV virus (human papillomavirus). They are described as bumps that appear on the genitals of both men and women. However, women are more susceptible to genital warts than men. Statistics show that over half of sexually active women in the U.S have this disease at some point in their life. Often, genital warts will clear on their own, without causing any health problems. But sometimes, they can cause pain and discomfort to your lady parts. Genital warts can also come back after treatment, even after laser treatment. Especially in women, genital warts can put them at risk of cervical cancer. If you suspect that you have genital warts, speak to your doctor immediately. Here are some basics about genital warts and how to tell if a woman has one.

What are signs and symptoms of genital warts in women?

In women, genital warts can appear anywhere in the genital area, including:

  • In or around the vagina;
  • In or around the anus;
  • On the cervix;
  • On the groin;
  • On the lips, mouth, tongue and throat, called oral HPV.

Genital warts in women can:

  • Vary in sizes: big or small, raised or flat, appear in clusters or grow individually.
  • Look like cauliflowers.
  • Be soft, moist and flesh-colored.
  • Cause pain, itching, burning and bleeding during sex or urination.

It’s very hard to know whether or not you have a genital wart. In many cases, the condition shows no symptom at all. Even if you don’t notice any sign and symptom, you can still have genital warts. Moreover, the condition can be mistaken by moles, skin tags and genital herpes. To confirm the diagnosis, you may require some available tests.

Related: Everything You Should Know About Genital Warts

Genital wart symptoms in women

How are they spread?

Genital wart is considered a sexually transmitted disease. Women can get it from sexual contact with someone who has the virus. Having skin contact with the warts can also make the virus spread. Genital wart is mostly contagious while visible. So avoid having contact if your wart remains untreated.  

Some types of sex that potentially increase the risk of genital warts in women are:

  • Oral sex;
  • Vaginal sex;
  • Anal sex;
  • Hand-genital sex.

In pregnant women, genital warts can pose some health threats to a mother and baby. In fact, hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the wart to grow larger and bleed. In very rare cases, the condition can cause warts in a baby’s throat.  

Related: How to Prevent the Spread of Genital Warts

Genital warts spread through sexual contact

How to tell if a woman has a genital wart?

Genital warts in women can be diagnosed by:

  • Yourself;
  • Your sexual partner;
  • Your health care provider.

To know whether or not you have a genital wart, examine your genital and anal areas.  Check if there are any abnormal growths down there. Notice if these growths are itchy and irritated. Check your sexual history and your partner’s. Usually, a woman develops warts from 6 weeks to 6 months after HPV exposure. If you recently have had unsafe sex, you might be infected with HPV.

You can also ask your partner to check for you. With this disease, you need to be open and honest to your partner.

To make sure, you can get it checked by a doctor. The doctor can perform a gynecological exam, including a Pap test. This test can help check for abnormal cells on your cervix. For women aged 30 or older, a screening test for HPV can also be helpful. This test can look for the DNA which contains HPV. Also, the doctor can take a sample of fluid to check for other STDs, like chlamydia. A blood test can also be recommended to check for HIV and syphilis.

Related: HPV Test, Earlier Detection of Cervical Pre-Cancer

How to diagnose genital warts in women

How to treat genital warts in women?

If you have genital warts, see your doctor to discuss treatment. Even when they are treated, the virus may still live in your body. Genital warts may also return after treatment. Do not treat them with OTC treatments for other types of warts. Below are some of the most common treatments for genital warts.

  • Cutting the warts out;
  • Burning off the warts;
  • Freezing the warts off;
  • Using lasers to destroy the warts;
  • Prescription creams, such as Imiquimod;
  • Topical creams, such as Vidarox.

Vidarox is one of the best treatments for genital and anal warts. Many sufferers use it to remove warts and prevent them from reappearing.

Moreover, to avoid genital warts, all women are recommended to:

  • Get vaccinated against HPV;
  • Avoid sexual contact;
  • Have safer sex;
  • Use condoms during sex.

A healthy immune system plays an important role in clearing HPV naturally. So you’re advised to exercise regularly and consume healthy foods. These foods may include herbs, proteins, fruits and vegetables.

Related: How to Cure Genital Warts with Tea Tree Oil

get vaccinated to prevent genital warts in women

It’s true that women are more vulnerable to genital warts than men. Besides, the condition is more dangerous and contagious in women. To know if it’s a genital wart or anything else, focus on your symptoms. To confirm the diagnosis, you can see a doctor. Although there is no cure for genital wart, it can be controlled with medications. To avoid the condition, avoid bad habits and change your lifestyle.

 

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