Early Signs and Symptoms of Genital Warts in Women
In many cases genital warts, which are caused by an infection with HPV, often do not cause any symptoms or signs, but they are sometimes associated with:
- Itching, burning, or tenderness around the area of infection
- Raised, flesh-colored lumps or bumps that may have a cauliflower-like appearance.
- Genital warts may appear anywhere on body's skin that is exposed during
- Size of the warts may vary, and multiple warts may be occur at the same time.
- Genital warts inside the vagina may cause bleeding following sexual intercourse or an abnormal vaginal discharge.
Facts and definition of HPV (human papillomavirus)
- Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) infect human skin and mucous membranes.
- Certain HPV types, known as high-risk HPV types, are known to cause cervical cancer and other cancers including cancers of the penis, anus, vagina, vulva, and oral cavity.
- Other HPV types cause genital warts or warts elsewhere on the body.
- HPV is highly contagious and is spread through close contact, including sexual contact.
- It is estimated that most sexually active people will become infected with HPV at some point.
- HPV infection typically does not cause signs or symptoms.
- In most cases, HPV infection goes away on its own, without long-term problems.
- Vaccines are available (for example, Gardasil and Gardasil 9) to prevent infection with the most common cancer-causing HPV types and the types that are most likely to cause genital warts.
- There is no specific treatment that can cure HPV infection, although treatments are available for warts and cancers caused by HPV.
What is HPV
The human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are a group of over 100 virus types that
infect human skin and mucus membranes. Most people with HPV never know they are
infected and never develop any problems, signs, or symptoms related to the infection, which usually
goes away on its own. In fact, HPV infection is so common, it is estimated that
most sexually active men and women get the infection at some point in their
lives. However, certain types of HPVs may cause health problems in some people.
For example, some HPV types cause genital warts and cervical cancers, while
others cause typical skin warts. Not every infection with HPV results in health
problems, or even produces signs and symptoms. Cancers caused by HPV typically
take many years, even decades, to develop.
Is HPV (human papillomavirus) infection an STD?
Because HPV infection is spread through sexual intercourse, it is classified
as a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) or sexually-transmitted infection (STI).
HPV is the most common STD and is thought to affect most people at some point in
Who gets infected with HPV (human papillomavirus)?
HPV infection is extremely common. It is estimated that all sexually active
men and women acquire an HPV infection at some point in life. For most
Is HPV (human papillomavirus) contagious?
Yes, HPV is highly contagious. This means that common warts on the skin or
soles of the feet are contagious, because contact with warts may spread the HPV
infection. Genital warts are also contagious. HPV can be spread from
person-to-person even when the infected person does not have any signs of
How is HPV (human papillomavirus) infection transmitted or spread?
- As mentioned previously, genital HPV infection is spread by sexual contact with an
infected person, including vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
- It can be spread when the
infected person has no signs or symptoms.
- It also take many years for health
problems associated with HPV to appear, making it very difficult for some people
to know exactly when they became infected.
- In addition to sexual contact, HPV
infection can be spread by any skin-to-skin contact.
- Spread of HPV infection also is likely to be possible from touching surfaces (such as public shower floors)
that have been in contact with an HPV-infected person.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/2/2016