If you’re living with genital warts, you’re not alone. Genitals warts are extremely common, with at least half of all sexually active people becoming infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes genital warts at some point. There are treatments for genital warts but no cures. Once you’re infected with HPV, you’ll always have it.
Some Genital Warts Facts You Should Know
- Genital warts are transmitted through skin-to-skin sexual activity, including both vaginal and anal sex, and sometimes through oral sex, as well.
- You can get genital warts in your mouth and throat as well as in the genital area, although that’s less common.
- It can take six months or more after you are infected with HPV before warts appear.
- Genital warts may disappear on their own without treatment, but they can also come back at any time.
- The virus that causes genital warts can be transmitted even when no warts are present, although it’s more likely to be transmitted when warts are present.
Tips For Living With Genital Warts
- Practice safer sex, using condoms during intercourse and condoms or dental dams during oral sex, to prevent the spread of warts to your partner.
- Talk about your sexual history with any potential partners, including the fact that you have genital warts. Ask about their sexual history, too.
- Seek treatment when warts appear, both to prevent discomfort and bleeding during sexual activity and to reduce the risk of spreading genital warts to your partner. Remember, though, it is possible to spread the virus to others even if no warts are visible.
- If you become pregnant, let your doctor or midwife know that you’ve had genital warts. If you have warts when it’s time to deliver your baby, your doctor or midwife may recommend a Cesarean section instead of a vaginal birth so that your warts don’t bleed excessively and to prevent the possible spread of warts to your baby.
- Talk to your doctor for more information about living with genital warts.
Genital Warts Facts About Treatment
The Mayo Clinic states that there is no cure for human papillomavirus, the virus that causes genital warts. However, there are treatments that can remove warts. Because you will still have the virus, warts may come back at a later time. You can also still spread the virus to others, even if you have no warts presently, although you are less likely to spread it if there are no visible warts.
Understanding your treatment options is an important part of living with genital warts. People generally prefer to remove warts as soon as possible because they can cause discomfort and bleeding. There are a variety of treatment options but not all are right for everyone. If you have questions about the best form of treatment for you, talk to your doctor.
Prescription medications – There are prescription creams that remove genital warts. Some must be applied by a doctor, but others can be applied by you at home. They must be applied very carefully because they can cause severe skin irritation.
Electrocautery – Sometimes referred to as electrotherapy, this involves a physician using a special tool to burn off warts. It’s effective but may cause pain and scarring.
Cryosurgery – Sometimes referred to as cryotherapy, this involves a physician applying liquid nitrogen to warts to freeze them off. Like electrocautery, it’s effective but may cause pain and scarring.
Natural treatments – There are some natural remedies for warts that you can buy without a prescription and use at home. Many people prefer natural remedies because they carry a much lower risk of side effects. Keep in mind, though, not all over-the-counter remedies for warts, even natural remedies, are safe for use in the genital area.
Our favorite natural remedy for genital warts is Terrasil Wart Removal Ointment, which contains all-natural ingredients like Thuja Occidentalis (an essential oil that comes from an evergreen tree), zinc oxide, and silver oxide. It’s safe and effective for use on genital warts. Follow the link to the Terrasil website to learn more.