How Contagious Are Venereal Warts
Venereal or genital warts are extremely contagious. They are caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV. Protect yourself from genital warts!
Here is some advice on how you can prevent HPV.
- Limit the number of sexual partners you have. Reducing your exposure is very effective. Abstinence is the only way to be 100% sure you won't get genital warts.
- Be familiar with your sexual partners. Make sure you discuss sexual history and sexual health with a person before you have sex. Don't engage in sexual contact with someone you don't know.
- Don't have sex with people who have genital warts.
- Always use a condom. This will decrease your risk of getting HPV and many other diseases. However, the condom does not cover all affected areas so transmission is still possible.
- Keep your immune system healthy. A healthy immune system is more able to fight off disease than a weakened one.
If you already have genital warts, you can reduce the likelihood of transmission. Take the following precautions if you think you might have genital warts.
- Don't have sex while you have an outbreak of genital warts.
- Notify anyone you might have infected.
- You might still be contagious after the warts go away, so be sure to let future partners know your status.
- Consult your health practitioner as soon as possible. Many treatments are available for genital warts, and treatment may make transmission less likely.
Risks of genital warts
Usually, genital warts are nothing more than a pesky annoyance that soon disappears. However, in some cases genital warts may be more troublesome. Fortunately, there are lots of treatments available for genital warts. There are home treatments and ones that must be done by a certified health professional.
Treatments requiring a health practitioner's help:
- Freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen. This will usually kill it, and is fairly inexpensive.
- Topical treatments/acids. There are a variety of topical creams, chemicals, and acids that can be applied to kill warts.
- Electrocautery is performed using an electrical current. This basically burns the warts off.
- Surgical excision involves the wart being cut off. This can leave scarring.
- Laser therapy has become available recently. This is usually reserved for large or particularly stubborn warts. It can be costly and requires special training.
At home treatments you can do yourself:
- Apply vitamin E oil and raw crushed garlic to the wart. Cover with adhesive tape.
- Apple cider vinegar has been reported to be effective at removing warts.
- Dab tea tree oil on the wart. Sometime this stings but many people say it's very effective.
- You may also get prescription creams that you apply yourself.
Talk to your health practitioner if you think you have genital warts. There are other things that can be mistaken for warts that may be more serious.