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Hello all! During my routine with the gyno , he found out that I have genital warts. I am about to have some more tests to see what type of genital warts I have but firstly would I like to know how I got them!!!!

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Hello there! Genital warts became very “ popular “ lately. At least 75% of sexually active adults have been infected with at least one type of genital HPV at some time in their life. There are 20 types that can infect genital area. They are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). It is a sexually transmitted disease and this is probably the way you got it. Other ways of transition are vertica l- from mother to baby, and it can be auto inoculation from one site to another.
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Genital warts, sometimes called venereal warts, are contracted through sexual contact. They're spread by direct, skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person. (Infants can be infected by their mothers during birth, but this is rare.)

Genital warts are caused by certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). But other common types of HPV that cause warts on the hands and the soles of the feet do not cause genital warts.

Genital HPV infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the world. In fact, scientists estimate that as many as 6 million new cases of genital warts are diagnosed in the United States each year.

Signs and Symptoms
Genital warts:
are growths or bumps that appear in and around the vagina or anus or on the cervix in females or on the penis, scrotum, groin, or thigh in males
can be raised or flat, single or multiple, or small or large
can cluster together to form a cauliflower-like shape
are usually flesh-colored and painless
One difficulty with genital HPV exposure is that it may take several months or years after infection for symptoms to appear - if there are even symptoms at all. The average incubation period is 1 to 6 months, but this can vary. Sometimes, the warts are so small and flat that they may not be noticed immediately.

In women, HPV can invade the vagina and cervix. These warts may be flat and invisible. Because the virus can lead to changes in the cervix that may lead to cancer, it's important that this condition is diagnosed and treated. Men infected with HPV can also be at risk for cancer of the penis and the anus.

But not all genital warts caused by HPV lead to cancer - approximately 10 to 15 of the 30 or more genital HPV types can cause the development of cancer.

Contagiousness
Genital warts are transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person. HPV can be contracted via anal, oral, and vaginal intercourse, and warts can appear within several weeks or months after sexual relations.

The virus is passed through skin-to-skin contact, but not everyone who's been exposed to the virus will develop genital warts. About two thirds of those who have sexual contact with an infected person will contract HPV.

More than 100 types of HPV have been identified; approximately one third of those are spread through sexual contact and live only in the genital tissue.

Prevention
Like most STDs, genital warts can be avoided by not having sex or by having sex only with one uninfected partner.

Condoms offer some protection against genital warts, but they can't completely prevent them because the warts can be outside of the area protected by the condom. Spermicidal foams, creams, and jellies have not been proven to protect against HPV and genital warts.

The FDA has approved a vaccine to prevent HPV infection, which causes most cervical cancers and genital warts. The vaccine is approved for females 9 to 26 years old. The vaccine, called Gardasil, is to be given as three injections over a 6-month period. It doesn't protect females if they've already been infected with HPV. The vaccine also doesn't protect against all types of HPV, so it’s important to make sure your daughter gets routine checkups and, if she’s sexually active, regular Pap smears. If you have any questions about the vaccine, it's important to talk with your child's doctor.

Treatment
Most genital warts require two or more professional treatments. However, there's no cure for an HPV infection because treatment just removes the genital warts it causes.

The various therapies available for genital warts include:

putting prescription medications on the warts
freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen (called cryosurgery)
using laser treatment
There are some chemical creams that can be used at home to treat genital warts, but you should ask your child's doctor which one to use. If your teen is sexually active, it's also important to discuss the different approaches with his or her doctor because some of these treatments shouldn't be used during pregnancy.

Because the HPV remains dormant in the body, genital warts may reappear at any time after treatment. Those who have had one occurrence of genital warts should be aware that they still carry the virus and can infect others. Women need to be especially careful - warts can invade the vagina and cervix, resulting in increased risk of more serious diseases.

Duration
Because HPV is a virus, it can lie dormant in a person's body for any amount of time before it produces visible genital warts. If someone contracts HPV, it's likely to remain in his or her system for a lifetime and eventually cause genital warts to appear recurrently. In some cases, though, the immune system fights off the virus or reduces it to almost nonexistent levels.

Depending on which type of treatment is the most appropriate for an outbreak of genital warts, removal of the warts can take a few hours or longer. Although treatments can get rid of the warts, the virus will remain in the body and the warts may reappear.

When to Call Your Child's Doctor
Because of the connection of some types of HPV to cancer, genital warts should be taken seriously and treated immediately. If you notice any type of unusual growths on your child's genitals or anus or your child complains of these growths, you should call your child's doctor.

If Your Child Has Genital Warts
Genital warts are contracted sexually, so if your child develops them, it's a reason for concern. The discovery of any type of STD in your child should trigger suspicion of sexual abuse or sexual activity. It's important to consider and investigate all possibilities to protect the health of your child.

Talk to your child in a supportive way about his or her involvement in sexual activity. Your child may be a victim of sexual abuse and could be embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it. If you suspect abuse may be the cause of the genital warts (as is almost always the case in a young child), you should investigate further.

If you become aware that your teenage son or daughter has an STD, talk to him or her about using protection and about the value in not having sex. By being open and asking your child questions about how he or she feels, you're making it more likely that you'll have a conversation.

You can find help in a variety of places. The first step is to talk to your child's doctor. He or she will treat the physical symptoms and can refer you to other professionals who can help with any emotional or psychological issues you or your child may be experiencing. Your child's doctor also can help connect you with the appropriate authorities or agencies if sexual abuse is suspected.

****EDIT****
i copied and pasted this, from a site for parents. I know your not a child with this problem. But the facts are still the same.
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