Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can one get genital warts without having sex?"
I'm a 22 year old woman, and I've never had sex with anyone before. I have bumps on my vulva that seem to match all the descriptions of genital warts. Is it possible that I somehow contracted genital warts through casual contact with other people? If not, then what might I be dealing with?
Anytime you develop a new bump or lump in the genital region, it can be a source of great distress. Even if you haven't haven't had any risky sexual encounters, it is always a good idea to get checked out. You could present the issue to either your primary care physician or your OBGYN both of which will be well equipped to give you a diagnosis and treatment if necessary. Genital warts are caused by an infection with the virus Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It is often carried near or on the genitals of males and females asymptomatically. Without sexual contact, it is much less likely that what you have is genital warts. That's not to say what you have couldn't be HPV (there are reports of HPV transmission in non-sexual ways), its just much less likely. Other causes of bumps on the vulva which sometimes can be a normal finding are possible. The good news is that they are most likely either benign or very treatable. In summary, any time you develop symptoms like this, its always a good idea to bee seen. If nothing else, it will give you a piece of mind that you're healthy. Good luck.
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