Genital Warts (Human Papillomavirus)
When To Call a Doctor
Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Sores, bumps, rashes, blisters, or warts on or around your genitals or anus
- Burning, pain, or severe itching while urinating
- For women, an abnormal vaginal discharge that smells bad
- For men, an abnormal discharge from your penis
Call your doctor if you suspect you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Avoid sexual contact until you have been examined by a doctor.
A child can get genital warts in several ways. Any child who has genital warts needs to be evaluated by a doctor to find out the cause and to assess for possible Reference sexual abuse.
In rare cases, infants may develop warts in the larynx (laryngeal papillomas), which is in the throat, from exposure to HPV during birth.
A doctor should evaluate any warts or other symptoms that suggest infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) or another sexually transmitted infection (STI). Avoid sexual contact until you have been examined. If you have an STI, avoid sexual contact to prevent spreading the virus.
Sometimes, warts may go away on their own. If you have genital warts, your doctor may observe your condition without using medical treatment. This is called watchful waiting. This period may vary from a few days to weeks or possibly months.
The length of the watchful waiting period is based on:
- The severity of your symptoms.
- The progression of the problem if not treated.
- The risks and benefits of waiting.
- Your age and medical history.
Who to see
In general, your Reference family doctor Opens New Window or any of the following health professionals can determine whether you have genital warts:
- Reference Nurse practitioner Opens New Window
- Reference Physician assistant Opens New Window
- Reference Internist Opens New Window
Treatment may require a specialist, such as a:
- Reference Gynecologist Opens New Window.
- Reference Urologist Opens New Window.
- Reference Dermatologist Opens New Window.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|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