Genital Warts 101
Genital Warts is the most common STI in Ireland. It is caused by some strains of the Human Papillomavirus, also known as HPV. Genital Warts are spread by Vaginal and Anal sex, and also close genital contact. A baby can also become infected if they come into contact with warts during childbirth. However this is very rare. Most sexually active people have had the HPV virus in their system at some point, but don't go on to develop warts. If warts do occur they appear as painless fleshy lumps around the vagina, penis, anus, scrotum & tops of legs. There are many treatments for Genital Warts including prescribed creams, freezing or laser therapy Depending on the size, location, and severity of the warts.
Most people with a healthy immune system will clear away the virus over two years or less. Some people only have one outbreak, but then others can have recurrences. Leading a healthy lifestyle will help to boost the immune system, and help prevent further outbreaks. Be sure to visit your doctor, or an STI clinic if you think that you might have Genital Warts. Using condoms and dental dams during sex will help prevent the spread of the disease.
However, a condom will not fully protect you as you can become infected by any contact with skin that is not covered by a condom. However, if you are sexually active you should always use a condom or dental dam. And always go for regular STI check ups!.
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