The human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is the leading cause of genital warts. More than 3 million cases occur in the United States every year. Vaccinating against HPV prevents the contraction of genital warts. Surgical removal may be necessary in more extreme cases. There is no cure for genital warts, and they may reoccur many times in a person's life once contracted. It is essential always to practice safe sex to prevent this and other sexually transmitted infections.
Warts on the genitals are the most common symptom. On women, these can occur inside the vagina or the anus, on surrounding the skin or on the cervix. With men, they can occur on the scrotum, the penis, on and around the groin, the thighs and inside and around the outer area of the anus. These spots can also grow on the lips, the tongue, the mouth and the throat on both men and women. Wherever they are located, genital warts are extremely contagious.
Another symptom of genital warts is an overall moisture in the area of the genitals. This warning sign can become worse when the area remains wet. Therefore, a patient suffering from genital warts may want to use a gentle powder to keep the area dry. Try to avoid medicated powders, unless you are following a doctor's orders. Medicated powders could cause the area to become more inflamed, which can be very painful. Also try to only wear cotton underwear, as that this material helps to soak up moisture better than other materials.
Another symptom that patients may experience when they have genital warts is vaginal discharge. This discharge can be clear, cloudy, pink, brown or even bloody. Sometimes it may even have an odor. When a woman has genital warts, they also may have other concerns that men do not have. HPV can often cause cancer, including vaginal or vulvar cancer. Both sexes, of course, may develop anal, throat or mouth cancer.
Let's face it, itchy genitals happens. Itching caused by genital warts can be very intense and even painful. Relief may come with over-the-counter topical creams. Doctors may need to prescribe stronger topical treatments, however, in more severe cases. Anyone experiencing intense itching in the genitals should visit a doctor to be diagnosed.
Vaginal bleeding, especially after having sex, is another potential symptom to look out for. Scratched and split open warts can cause this bleeding. Friction during intercourse can also be a cause. Although prescription medications may offer relief, it is important to avoid any activity that may cause pain or bleeding.
Fatigue is an early warning sign of many health conditions. This is because, as the body's immune system begins to fight off infections, bacteria or disease, it becomes weakened. This state affects the entire body, making the sufferer feel lethargic and tired. Of course, if you have had a long week at work with plenty of overtime, or if you have picked up a rather ambitious workout routine, it makes sense that you may be a little more tired than usual. But if nothing major has changed in your routine, fatigue is typically an early symptom of a wide variety of illnesses. As that the body has plenty to fight off when a patient has genital warts, fatigue can be one of the side effects.
Headaches are another symptom that can be an early warning sign and a common symptom of genital warts. Treatment for these headaches is simple, as over the counter pain medications can offer relief. More severe cases, however, may require prescription medication. A doctor can assess the best course of treatment.
When a patient is suffering from genital warts, a fever can be yet another very common symptom. Flu-like symptoms also accompany this high-grade fever. A patient may get chills, along with awful night sweats. Heat may also seem to radiate from the infected area. These symptoms may also include nausea leading to vomiting and feeling lightheaded. The sufferer may also have rather dark-colored urine and a lighter-colored stool. These symptoms may come and go, and medication may help to alleviate them, especially when they occur in "waves."
Swollen or painful lymph nodes and glands in the genitals of both men and women alike are another common symptom of genital warts. Infection is the main cause of this swelling. Pain varies in intensity from patient to patient. Prescription and over-the-counter medications can provide relief of this symptom and other accompanying symptoms.
Backaches can be an early warning sign for so many health conditions - including genital warts. Genital warts do not present with back pain alone, however. To be considered a complication of genital warts, back pain must be coupled with other common symptoms. A doctor can provide more information and a proper diagnosis.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.