Warts Types Vaginal

Vaginal warts are genital warts that grow in and around the vagina, cervix, vulva and the opening to the womb. They’re caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are spread by direct contact with an infected person, most often through vaginal and anal sex.

It can be worrisome and surprising to learn you have vaginal warts, because vaginal wart symptoms can be hard to detect. And, although many forms of vaginal wart treatment are available—including vaginal wart removal—they won’t eliminate the virus that causes vaginal warts, and recurrences are possible.

Vaginal Wart Symptoms

Vaginal warts can itch, but they’re often painless. People may notice small bumps or larger cauliflower-shaped lumps, growing singly or in groups.

Vaginal warts may rarely cause bleeding or vaginal discharge. More common vaginal wart symptoms include frequent yeast infections or outbreaks of trichomoniasis.

Since it’s hard to see vaginal warts on the cervix or inside the vagina, see a doctor or visit a sexual health clinic for vaginal wart treatment if you might have been exposed to the HPV virus.

Vaginal Wart Treatment

It’s important to see a medical professional for vaginal wart treatment. For starters, your doctor can make certain that the problem is vaginal warts and not an STD or a perfectly normal lump, like a pimple. Treatment options include:

  • Imiquimod: A cream to boost your immune system and help you fight off the vaginal warts. However, it can interfere with condoms and diaphragms and irritate your partner’s skin.
  • Podofilox: A solution used to destroy vaginal warts. Your doctor might start the treatment, and show you how to continue it.
  • Trichloroacetic acid: This acid burns off vaginal warts and must always be used by a doctor.

Vaginal wart treatment can take a long time, so continue seeing your caregivers until the vaginal warts are brought under control.

Vaginal Wart Removal

If you have a particularly hard to treat vaginal wart, a more direct form of vaginal wart removal might be best, particularly if you’re pregnant. Common methods include:

  • Cryotherapy: Using liquid nitrogen to freeze off vaginal warts
  • Electrocautery: Using electricity to burn away vaginal warts
  • Laser Treatments: Using lasers for vaginal wart removal; used on resistant cases
  • Surgery: Cutting away vaginal warts, with the patient under local anesthetic.

Vaginal Warts and Pregnancy

A history of vaginal warts usually doesn’t affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant, or the health of her child. In rare cases, babies exposed to HPV during the birth process develop growths in the throat. It’s important for pregnant women to tell their healthcare team if they have vaginal warts.

Possible Vaginal Wart Complications

Some forms of HPV (16 and 18) can causes changes in cervical cells which can then eventually lead to cancer.

However, vaginal warts are linked to the non-cancerous forms of HPV, so women who have had vaginal warts are not at greater risk for cervical cancer. Just the same, regular cervical Pap tests are recommended for all sexually active women.

Resources

Avert. (2009). Genital warts: HPV, symptoms and treatment. Retrieved April 28, 2010, from: http://www.avert.org/genital-warts.htm.

Information Genital Warts.com. (n.d.). How can I get rid of vaginal warts? Retrieved April 28, 2010, from: http://www.informationgenitalwarts.com/vaginalwarts/.

McKinley Health Center. (2005). Genital warts. Retrieved April 28, 2010, from: http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/genital_warts.html.

Warts Information Center. (2010).Genital warts. Retrieved April 28, 2010, from: http://www.warts.org/genital-warts.html.

Women’s Health.gov. (n.d.). Human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital warts. Retrieved April 28, 2010, from: http://womenshealth.gov/faq/human-papillomavirus.cfm.