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Genital warts

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Genital warts grow in, on or around your genitals and your anus.

Genital warts look like small cauliflowers. They’ve got a bumpy surface. Often you’ll get a few small warts first, which grow and spread. This STI is caused by a wart virus. You can easily get genital warts when you have sex with someone who has the virus or who has visible warts, even if you use a condom. Very rarely, the virus is transmitted via flannels or towels that have been used by others. The sooner you have the warts removed, the sooner the symptoms will disappear.

Symptoms

Genital warts can be itchy or painful during sex. If they are deep in your vagina or anus, you may not even notice them. The symptoms may be worse during a period or pregnancy.

Treatment

Genital warts can be treated by gently applying a lotion. Your doctor can also remove them by freezing or heating. Surgery (under local anaesthetic, of course) is usually only done to remove groups of warts. The warts could return, even after treatment, as the virus may remain in your body for a long time. The sooner you have the warts removed, the sooner the symptoms will disappear.