GENITAL WARTS

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Warts are small fleshy bumps on the skin or mucous membrane caused by human papillomavirus. Genital warts are fleshy outgrowths on parts of the genitalia caused by HPV. These warts can grow around the vulva, anus, cervix, walls of the vagina of women, whereas in men it can be found on the penile shaft or tip, scrotum and anus. 

Genital warts are known to cause pain, discomfort and itching in affected individuals.

WHAT WOULD YOU NOTICE IF YOU HAVE WARTS?

You may notice any of the following symptoms after contracting the virus:

  • Small swellings in your genital area that may be skin-colored or darker.
  • Cauliflower appearing bumps caused by a few warts close together
  •  
  • Itching or discomfort in your genital area
  •  
  • Bleeding or burning from the bumps which may follow sexual activities.

WHAT CAUSES GENITAL WARTS? 

Genital warts are caused by some strain of Human Papilloma Virus - a common cause of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). The HPV 6 and HIV 11 strains are known to be responsible for causing genital warts. 

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?

Activities that increases risk include;

  • Unsafe sex with infected individuals 
  • Contact with infected objects such as sex toys
  • Poor immunity which may be due to malnutrition or another underlying disease.

 

COMPLICATIONS THAT MAY OCCUR DUE TO GENITAL WARTS

Complications of GW usually occur when they are not treated promptly. In such instances, it may lead to:

  • Cancer of the vulva
  • Penile cancer
  • Anal cancer
  • Throat cancer.

PREVENTION 

Prevention, they say is better than cure, so here are some preventive practices that may protect you against genital warts:

  • Proper cleaning of the genitals after sexual contact
  •  
  • Practicing safe sex through use of condoms and routine STD tests 
  • Avoid linking up with multiple sexual partners 
  • Regular sexual health screening which will help in early diagnosis and treatment 
Kemuel Kefas

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