Genital warts grow in, on or around your genitals and your anus.
What are genital warts?
Genital warts are warts in the genital area and are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are many different types of HPV, type 6 and 11 are most associated with developing genital warts. These are not related to the type of HPV that can cause cervical cancer and that you get vaccinated for. The warts have a bumpy surface. Often, you’ll get a few small warts first, which grow and spread.
You can easily get genital warts when you have sex with someone who has the virus or who has visible warts, even if you use a condom. Very rarely, the virus is transmitted via bedding or towels that have been used by others. The sooner you have the warts removed, the sooner the symptoms will disappear.
Genital warts can be itchy or painful during sex. If they are deep in your vagina or anus, you may not even notice them. The symptoms may be worse during a period or pregnancy.
Genital warts can be treated by gently applying a lotion. Your doctor can also remove them by freezing or heating. Surgery (under local anesthetic, of course) is usually only done to remove groups of warts. The warts could return, even after treatment, as the virus may remain in your body for a long time. The sooner you have the warts removed, the sooner the symptoms will disappear.
Vaccination against HPV
On Saba, vaccination against HPV is offered by the Public Health department to boys and girls at the age of 9 years and can be given up to the age of 18 years. The vaccine offered on Saba protects against HPV type 16 and 18 (most associated with cancers such as anal, throat and penile cancer in men and cervical cancer in women). The vaccine is most effective when administered before you start having sex. If you would like more information on the HPV vaccine, call the public health nurse on +599.416.5566