What are Genital Warts?
Genital wart (condyloma), that is, genital HPV lesion, is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases and its cause is human papilloma virus (HPV). It produces raised, painful, itchy brown lesions in the genital area in both men and women. While there may be very small lesions, a few may combine to cause larger lesions in the form of cauliflower. It is more common in those who have a large number of sexual partners. There are more than 200 types of HPV. Some types can cause cervical cancer, especially type 16 and type 18 in women. HPV type 6 and type 11 are the most common causes of genital warts.
In Which Age Range Is Genital Warts Seen and How Is It Transmitted?
Considering all age groups, it is seen at a rate of 1% in the society, while it increases up to 7% in the 20s. HPV infection is mainly transmitted by sexual contact. Even if condoms are used, contamination may occur due to the contact of the exposed skin parts with the diseased individual. In addition, although rare, contamination may occur from common materials and toilets. It is also transmitted by anal and oral intercourse.
What are the Symptoms of HPV Infection?
The disease does not show symptoms immediately after it is infected. After the virus enters the body, it first encounters the immune system and its reproduction is limited. It begins to show symptoms in a situation where the immune system is weakened. It may take months or even years to produce symptoms. In the genital area, it is in the form of a light-dark brown, puffy skin with a rough surface. Lesions may be small lesions one by one or they may be in the form of large lesions in the form of cauliflower. Lesions can be seen in the bags called scrotum between the legs in the genital area, in the penis, in the anus and, rarely, in the throat of those who have oral intercourse. There may be bleeding in the lesions during sexual intercourse.
How Is Condyloma Diagnosed?
The diagnosis can be made as a result of seeing the symptoms, as well as sending the lesions to the lab. In the laboratory, it can also be typed by taking a swab from the genital area.
How Are Genital Warts Treated?
A patient with genital warts should be questioned in detail first. It should be checked for additional disease. Places that are likely to have lesions should be thoroughly checked. It can also be in the exit part of the urinary tract after the bladder, which we call the urethra. If there is such a suspicion, cystourethroscopy should be performed and if there is a lesion, it should be treated endoscopically. The visible lesions are either surgically removed, frozen, eliminated with cream, or burned with cautery. The important thing is to eliminate all lesions. A microscope can be used to see the lesions when needed. Despite all these treatments, the risk of recurrence is high.
What Are the Complications of HPV Infection?
HPV infection causes cervical cancer, especially in women. Therefore, its treatment is very important.
How Do We Protect From HPV Infection?
Vaccination can be made against type 16 and type 18, which are the most common causes of cervical cancer. In addition, HPV vaccine is available, including the types that cause warts, and risk groups can be vaccinated.