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Are Genital Warts Curable?

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Genital warts are a symptom of the HPV virus, but can they be cured? In this article we discuss what genital warts are, symptoms of genital warts, if they can be cured, and potential treatments. Read on to learn more.

Can genital warts be cured?

Genital warts are caused by the HPV virus, which, in most cases, is cured naturally within two years without treatment. Genital warts are a symptom of the HPV virus and are treatable with creams, surgery, or freezing treatments. If you have, or suspect that you have genital warts, consult your doctor or visit a sexual health clinic for further advice and treatment. 

What are genital warts?

Genital warts are small sores around your genital area that may be painful or irritating. The sores are often described as cauliflower-shaped and may appear pink, red,  or flesh-coloured. 

Genital warts are a symptom of the HPV virus, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. The HPV virus is generally curable over a period of time, and it’s various symptoms, such as genital warts, are treatable, making the condition manageable and relatively easy to live with whilst the HPV virus clears.

Symptoms of genital warts

Whilst genital warts is a symptom of another condition, it does have various symptoms itself:

  • Small lumps and bumps, pink or flesh-coloured, growing in the genital area
  • Multiple warts growing near to each other are often described as cauliflower-shaped
  • Itching and discomfort in the genital area
  • Bleeding during or after sex
  • Pain or a burning sensation when urinating

Whilst genital warts generally present as above, they can sometimes be small, flat, and almost invisible. On the other hand, they can also present in larger clusters in those with suppressed immune systems.

Treatments for genital warts

Genital warts can go away on their own over time, but you may wish to treat the painful and irritating symptoms of the warts. Treatment for genital warts include:

  • Topical creams and liquids to alleviate pain and irritation

In more severe cases, your doctor may recommend one of the following:

  • Burning off the warts with electrical currents
  • Freezing the warts with cryosurgery
  • Excision
  • Use of the drug Interferon

Genital warts cannot be treated with over-the-counter generic wart treatments. These are intended for other areas of the body, and for other strains of the HPV virus. They are usually stronger than treatments for genital warts, and may do more harm than good.

Can genital warts come back?

If a person whose body has cleared HPV later contracts a different strain of the virus, it is possible for genital warts to come back. It is also possible for genital warts to lay dormant for a period of time, only to flare up again at a later date. 

Sexual health testing with Your Sexual Health

Regular sexual health screening is vital to help stop the transmission of STDs if you are sexually active. It is recommended to be tested for STDs before and after engaging with a new sexual partner. Your Sexual Health offers a wide range of STD tests at private sexual health clinics across the UK, as well as offering instant testing and home testing kits. If you’re unsure of what’s right for you, get in touch with one of our friendly advisors who will be happy to assist you.