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Genital warts are caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI) because the virus can be spread by sexual contact. The warts often look like small, fleshy bumps or flat, white patches. They can be anywhere in the genital area. You can also be infected with HPV yet not have warts that can be seen.
Genital warts often go away on their own without treatment. Some people decide to treat them because of the symptoms or the way the warts look.
There is a vaccine for HPV. If you have not had the vaccine, ask your doctor if getting the vaccine is right for you.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
It's easier to prevent an STI than it is to treat one:
Vaccines are available for some STIs, such as HPV. Ask your doctor for more information.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: February 26, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Kevin C. Kiley MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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