Genital Warts: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 11/29/2016

Genital warts are benign growths (lumps or bumps) on the genital areas. They are raised, flesh-colored bumps or lumps that may have a jagged or rough appearance. Itching and burning are common associated symptoms, but in many cases, there may be no symptoms except for the presence of the warts. They can occur in any location that is exposed during skin-to-skin sexual contact. Certain signs and symptoms, like vaginal discharge or bleeding, can occur if the warts are located in the vaginal opening in women.

Cause of genital warts

Infection with one of the human papillomaviruses (HPV) causes genital warts.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.


Condoms are the best protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). See Answer

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