Genital warts are more common than you might think. About 130,000 new cases are diagnosed every year in the UK. Genital warts are caused by HPV (human papilloma virus), which is the most common sexually-transmitted infection (STI). Genital warts can cause pain, itching and discomfort and can also be very distressing.
Genital warts are transmitted through oral, vaginal, and anal sex but warts might not develop for several weeks or month after you’ve been infected. Some genital warts are very obvious while others might just present as a change of the colour of the skin. On men, genital warts can appear on the penis, scrotum, groin, thighs and inside or around the anus. For women, inside the vagina or anus, outside the vagina or anus and on the cervix. They can also appear orally and in the throat.
Genital warts present in many different ways so it’s best not to self-diagnose and see a doctor for an examination. We can conduct cryotherapy for some cases of genital warts and can help you with treatment and next steps.
Other genital lesions
There are other genital lesions to also be aware of!
Typical symptoms that accompany the appearance of genital lesions or sores include: Itching; pain around the lesion or elsewhere in the pelvic area; sensation of burning or discomfort during urination; bleeding; painful intercourse (dyspareunia); heavy discharge or discharge with a strong odour.
Genital lesions or sores are most commonly caused by sexually transmitted diseases, although this is not always the cause.
The STIs that cause lesions are genital herpes, genital warts, syphilis, and bacterial or viral skin infections (such as chancroid, which starts as a bump and develops into an ulcer, and molluscum contagiosum, a viral infection with a main feature of painless papules that develop into pearly nodules).
Non-sexually transmitted conditions that cause lesions include vulvovaginitis, which is an inflammatory condition affecting the vulva and vagina, contact dermatitis, caused by allergic reaction, and atopic dermatitis, where the skin becomes inflamed due to allergy. In rare cases, genital lesions are a sign of cancer.
What to do next
If you are experiencing any symptoms, come in and speak to one of our doctors. We have a highly experienced team who can help you get the results you need. Call us to book an appointment with one of them
Not always. There are some STIs that have symptoms of lesions (this is the main symptom of genital herpes, and of syphilis) but genital lesions can be caused by allergens and other conditions.
Vulvovaginitis, and contact or atopic dermatitis can both cause genital lesions and are due to inflammatory conditions usually due to allergy. In some very rare cases, genital lesions are a sign of cancer.
You may also notice burning, pain or discomfort on urination, irregular bleeding, painful intercourse, or unusually heavy discharge.