Genital warts Treatment women over counter

Genital Warts Support Chat Medicine | Genital Warts Cured | Treat

Dear Alice, An ex-girlfriend told me recently that she has genital warts. She was a virgin at the time we met so I must have given it to her. I am waiting for my test results but I must be infected. I have learned (too late!) that we can't get rid of the virus. If I get married some time later, would I have to use condoms all my life with my wife so I don't pass the virus to her? What are the complications for women?


Dear NANH, Genital warts, also called condyloma, are growths caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are often, but not always, spread sexually. The incubation time (time from exposure to appearance of growths) may range from a few weeks to many months or years. Some people harbor the virus and transmit it to others without ever developing the growths themselves. Researchers have found that the virus can be found in some people prior to sexual activity. With a long incubation period and the potential presence of the virus without any sexual activity, it's often difficult to determine who infected whom (not to mention when).

Available treatments for genital warts do not completely eliminate the virus from the body. Instead, treatment is aimed at removing uncomfortable growths, reducing the number of viral particles, and, perhaps, stimulating the immune response to help control the infection. Treatment depends on the areas involved. In most cases, chemical, electrocautery (heat), cryotherapy (freezing), or laser treatment is used. Excision (surgical removal of infected tissue) is used only occasionally. Most treatments are done in a health care provider's office, and are tailored to the needs of the patient.

Genital warts are not caused by the same strains of HPV that are linked to cervical cancer. If you do have genital warts, you could transmit the virus to future partner(s), however you would not be transmitting the type of the virus that has potentially serious long-term health effects for women (unless you are also infected with those strains). Although your partner may understandably not be thrilled about the idea of having genital warts, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, there are no serious health consequences. To help reduce the risk of transmission, you may want to use condoms and/or dams with your future partner(s). Remember that these methods aren't 100 percent effective, since the virus can be present on areas of skin that aren't covered.

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