The virus that causes genital warts is called human papilloma virus (HPV). There are more than 70 different types of HPV.
Many HPV types cause genital warts which can be found on the penis, vulva, urethra,vagina, cervix, and around and in the rectum.
Other types of HPV cause common or flat warts on other body parts such as the hands. But warts on the hands do not cause genital warts.
The infection by HPV in the genitals is common although many times asymptomatic. But even if you don’y have symptoms you must follow a treatment to avoid complications and prevent transmission to others.
In women HPV an infect the wall of the vagina and the cervix. These warts are flat and difficult to trace without special tests.
Specific HPV types can lead to precancerous transformations in the cervix, μπορούν να οδηγήσουν σε προκαρκινωματώδεις εξαλλαγές στον τράχηλοcervical cancer or rectal cancer. These are called high risk HPV .
HPV infection is transmitted through sexual contact with the skin of the rectum, the mouth or vagina or theis mucous membranes. Spread is possible even when the warts are not visible.
The warts may not be visible for at least 6 weeks to 6 months after the infection. It can even be longer so if you notice genital warts for the first time it does not mean that you or ypur partner had sexual intercourse with another.
Not everybody exposed to the virus HPV gets infected.
Following agents place you at higher risk :
- Having multiples sexual partners
- Not knowing if someone you had sex with had an STI
- Become sexually active at a young age
- Smoke and drink alcohol
- Having stress and other viral infections at the same time
- If you are pregnant
- Have a weak immune system like when treating cancer or AIDS
- If a child manifests genital warts the most probable cause is sexual abuse