Genital warts: why they appear and how to treat them – Blog Dexeus Mujer

Detecting that you have warts in your intimate area may scare you a bit. But, in reality, it is a more frequent problem than it seems and it can be treated. The cause is the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is transmitted through sexual contact. They can appear on the vulva, vagina, anal area, cervix and even in the mouth and pharynx area, and in both women and men, since they can also get and transmit this infection. And it is not necessary to have sexual intercourse to get infected, since it is transmitted by direct contact of an infected skin with another.

In fact, and as explained by Dr. Olga Salas, head of the Lower Genital Tract Pathology Unit at Dexeus Mujer, HPV is a virus that is very easily transmitted and it is believed that more than 80% of the sexually active population have ever been infected. However, most of the time it does not even cause symptoms, because our immune system acts to eliminate the virus and the infection goes completely unnoticed. In any case, and precisely for this reason, doctors always recommend taking preventive measures, such as using a barrier method and having regular gynecological check-ups.

If you detect them, the first thing you should do is go to your gynecologist so that they can examine them and determine the treatment. In addition, it is possible that in addition to the warts you see, there are other lesions located on the inside. But don’t be alarmed, because there are different types of HPV strains -there are more than 100!- and not all carry the same risk.

To eliminate them, various types of treatment can be applied, such as topical creams, cryotherapy, surgical removal or laser. Sometimes they disappear spontaneously, but it is essential that the specialist check them and indicate which treatment is the most appropriate in each case.

In our center we have the vaccine non-valid, which protects against almost 90% of the serotypes -or types of different strains- of HPV that can favor the development of cervical cancer and previous lesions that can cause it, as well as warts. Three doses are administered (0-2-6 months interval). In boys and girls under 14 years of age, the vaccine is administered in only two doses (0-6 months).

In Catalonia, the HPV vaccine is applied systematically to all girls between 11 and 12 years old, before they start having sexual relations. If you have daughters, you are probably already informed. But if you are young or older and have not been vaccinated, you can ask your gynecologist for information, since the vaccine can also be applied to older women; in fact, efficacy studies are conducted in women up to 45 years of age.

Currently, and in addition to the vaccine, to strengthen protection against HPV we must avoid risky sexual practices and continue screening for cervical cancer; that is, to have a cytology performed and, in those over 30 years of age, the HPV test. These tests allow the detection of cellular alterations that may be indicative of the presence of HPV or of lesions, and therefore, make an early diagnosis and solve the problem. So, don’t forget to make an appointment to do your annual review!

Sexual health is very important and HPV, like many other sexually transmitted infections, have no symptoms, so if you have any questions, always consult your gynecologist and don’t let your guard down!

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Genital warts: why they appear and how to treat them – Blog Dexeus Mujer


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