September 26, 2022

What are Genital Warts (HPV)?

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What is HPV?

According to CDC HPV vaccinations are recommended between the ages of 11 or 12 years old, but can start as early as 9 years of age. Genital warts are a type of sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). These warts can appear separately or in clusters and can be found in different areas of the body such as:

  • Genital
  • Anal 
  • Penile Shaft
  • Vagina Labia Majora
  • Scrotum

The color of the warts tends to be similar to the skin color or darker and can occasionally bleed. These can cause discomfort, redness, or itching.


There are several ways that the HPV can spread which includes:

  • Skin to skin contact without ejaculation 
  • Vaginal
  • Anal
  • Oral
  • Contact with someone who is infected even if they do not show any signs or symptoms
  • Unprotected sex

Signs and Symptoms

Some individuals may not have any signs or symptoms, however, some symptoms includes:

  • Discomfort
  • Genital itching or irritation
  • Mild bleeding
  • Burning sensation

Treatment and Prevention

These warts can go away on their own or they may get larger or multiply. There are different treatments to remove the warts such as:

  • Surgery
  • Topical (skin) medicine
  • Freezing
  • Electrocautery
  • Laser treatment
  • Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)
  • Provider applies the topical TCA solution in the office

Genital warts are contagious and individuals can get it again and again. To prevent genital warts from occurring individuals can:

  • Get the HPV vaccine
  • Use condoms
  • Routine testing

It’s Fetch is a community that provides a safe space for members to discuss health and wellness topics. We provide access to archived health related content, note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content shared, regardless of date should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

-Written by Karen Manalac


Genital warts: Hpv, std, symptoms, causes, treatment. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved September 26, 2022, from

Leslie, S. W., Sajjad, H., & Kumar, S. (2022). Genital warts. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.

Std facts—Human papillomavirus(Hpv). (2022, June 8).

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