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GENITAL WARTS

If you have genital warts, see your doctor and discuss treatment options.

Bleeding  of warts that cannot be controlled with direct pressure should be seen by a doctor. Warts that obstruct the urethral opening and don't allow you to urinate are an emergency and should be treated as soon as possible.

Self-Care at Home

Because genital warts essentially have no symptoms, there is little need for home treatment. It is important, however, to recognize that the warts exist.

  • You need to take the necessary precautions to prevent trauma to the area, which can result in bleeding.
  • You should take care to prevent transmission to sexual partners.
  • Because the warts themselves are infectious, avoid touching them. Do not pick or squeeze the warts.
Prevention

In 2006, an HPV vaccine (Gardasil) was approved by the FDA for use in girls and women aged 9-26. This vaccine has been shown to be safe and 100% effective in preventing infection with the four most common HPV types (6, 11, 16, and 18) in women who have had no previous exposure to the virus. However, it is less effective in women who have already been infected with HPV, and it does not protect against all types of HPV infection. Studies are underway to determine whether the vaccine is safe and effective in older women and in males.

Because no treatment is 100% effective, it is important to prevent the spread of HPV, which causes genital warts, and its cancer-causing effects whenever possible. Transmission of genital warts can be decreased if you use condoms and refrain from sexual activity until therapy is completed.

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