ZocdocAnswersDo I have genital warts?

Question

Do I have genital warts?

Could I have genital warts? I just noticed a little skin colored bump on the outside of my vagina that was not there before. What do I do if it is genital warts? I never had that vaccine.

Answer

Genital warts are a common type of sexually transmitted infection. The virus that causes genital warts is the human papilloma virus (or HPV for short). They often look like small raised portions of skin with a somewhat shiny top. Other types of warts look similar, and so you will need to have a doctor take a look at your bump. The HPV virus is spread through sexual contact. You may recognize the name of the virus because it is the same type of virus that is responsible for cervical cancer. There is more than one type of HPV, and the ones that cause a genital wart are not necessarily the same as those that can cause cervical cancer. This is why people with HPV found on a pap smear do not all have genital warts. The vaccine (called Gardasil) works against a few different types of HPV, some of which can cause genital warts. However, getting the vaccine won't prevent the development of all warts. The good news is that genital warts are very treatable. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a close look at your bump and determine what it is. If it is a genital wart, then you can get a cream that will cure the wart.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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