Human Papillomavirus and Genital Warts
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted disease that can cause various types of warts throughout a male or female's body and can cause cervical cancer in females. There are about 70 types of the infection. Those that are mainly sexually transmitted include the types identified as 6, 11, 16, 18, 31 and 35 and all cause genital warts.
Types of HPV
Types 6 and 11 are mainly seen externally on the body. They can be found on the penis, vagina and anus. Types 16 and 18 can cause more concealed warts that are found on the mucous membranes of the cervix, rectum, and urethra or along the vagina. These two types are more serious because they can cause cancer of the anus, rectum or cervix.
Location and Description
The first signs of HPV can show up in a few weeks or it could take about three to four months after the initial exposure, each person differs. Warts are also found on the mouth or in the throat because of oral sex. The amount of warts that appear also varies, there could be one or several. Warts vary in size, color and shape. Some can be pink or gray, small or large, and can be flat or raised. They change appearance due to their location and the more discomfort encountered. They mainly itch and burn, but sometimes can bleed if they are more irritated or in a location that that gets bothered by clothing. Other difficulties associated with warts and their location including pain while urinating, painful intercourse, and painful swallowing.
There is no cure for HPV for some people once they have the infection. For others HPV can go away on its own, mostly with those who have never had any outbreaks, signs or symptoms from it. Warts can be treated by consulting a physician. Some treatments include burning or freezing them off, or using a laser to remove them, chemical injection, or chemical/cream treatments. The treatments vary by severity of the warts and some treatments are only used for warts in specific areas. All carry different side effects and may require multiple treatments just to get rid of the warts. It may take weeks for a treatment to completely work on a particular outbreak. Some of the treatments take the warts off in layers and can take several weeks as well. A physician can determine what is best for getting rid of warts.