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Early Stages Genital Warts

Oct 16, 2007
Genital warts cannot be cured and they are highly contagious. Therefore it is important that you recognize early stages genital warts in order to prevent spreading them to others. Early stages genital warts are usually painless, but if they are not treated they can grow to become bothersome as a result of their location, size or from itching. Early stages genital warts can range in size from one millimeter across to several square centimeters if two or more warts grow together.

Those who have early stages genital warts often complain of painless bumps, constant itching and discharge. In some rare cases with the early stages genital warts involve the urethral opening then bleeding or urinary obstruction could be the initial problem. It is common to have genital warts in more than one area. Individuals with genital warts may also have a previous history of sexually transmitted diseases.

For men early stages genital warts can infect the urethra, penis, scrotum and rectal areas. The warts are usually soft, raised masses with a surface that is sometimes smooth and other times rough. If they are not treated the warts can change to pearly, cauliflower-like growths or have a slightly dark surface. For women early stages genital warts appear similar to the warts found in men and occurs in the moist areas of the labia minora and the vaginal opening. Many vaginal warts don't have symptoms and most women do not experience bleeding after sexual intercourse, itching or vaginal discharge. If lesions are seen then a doctor will perform a thorough exam of the vaginal canal, cervix and anorectal area.

Doctors will typically make a diagnosis of early stages genital warts through a history and the appearance of genital warts. Sometimes a doctor will have to use a technique called acetowhitening in order to visibly enhance the warts. During this technique doctors apply a five percent acetic acid solution to the lesions for five to ten minutes after which time the lesions will turn white. In other cases a doctor will magnify the area with a colposcopy to see the lesions. This same technique is typically used for women with genital warts in order to see in the vaginal canal and on the cervix. In order to look for evidence of an HPV infection and abnormal cells a routine pap smear should be done. If the lesions appear unusual or do not respond to treatment then a biopsy may be performed.

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