Vaginal warts usually appear as whitish, grayish or flesh-colored bumps in or near the vagina, but because of their location, they can be difficult to spot. They can also cause mild soreness or itching. The best way to determine if you have warts is to have regular gynecological exams with a Pap test to look for signs of warts. If a suspicious lesion is identified, a small tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken for additional evaluation. An in-office diagnostic exam called colposcopy may also be used to examine abnormal areas of your vagina and cervix using magnification.
Warts are caused by a virus called HPV (human papilloma virus) that's transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. They can be transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral intercourse. Only a few types of HPV can cause warts; most HPV infections clear up on their own without causing warts
Warts can be treated with topical medication or removed with cautery (heat), freezing, or minimally-invasive surgical methods to remove the wart tissue. Even after removal, the virus can cause additional warts to appear, so regular exams are very important.
First, you should be open with your partner about your infection just as you would want your partner to be honest with you. Vaginal warts are not uncommon, and they can be managed. The best way to prevent transmission is to use a condom each time you have sex. If you or your partner notices a bump on or near the genital area or mouth, a medical evaluation should be scheduled right away. In some cases, vaccinations may be helpful in preventing warts, especially in people who have not been sexually active.
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