Genital Warts (Human Papillomavirus)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) usually does not cause any symptoms and does not always produce visible genital warts. Some types of HPV cause cell changes to the Reference cervix Opens New Window that can cause an abnormal Pap test.
When symptoms do develop, they usually occur 2 to 3 months after infection. But symptoms have been known to occur from 3 weeks to many years after infection.
Symptoms that may occur with genital warts include:
Genital warts can be different sizes and shapes.
- They may be large, or they may be too small to be seen with the naked eye. They may appear individually or in groups.
- Warts may look like tiny bunches of cauliflower or like flat, white areas that are very difficult to see.
- In women and men, warts may appear in the groin, on and around the genitals, in the Reference urethra Opens New Window, or in the rectum or anus.
- In women:
- Genital warts may appear around the anus or on the Reference vulva Opens New Window, vagina, or cervix.
- Women are often unaware of warts inside the vagina or on the cervix until a doctor finds them.
- In men:
- Genital warts may occur on the outside of the penis, on the Reference scrotum Opens New Window, or around the anus.
- Men are often unaware they have genital warts, even when they can be seen, until the warts are identified by a doctor.
Symptoms of genital warts may be similar to those of Reference other conditions.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 21, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology