Your Guide to Treating Genital Warts In Men

 

Whether it’s your friend, family, work colleague, or even yourself, genital warts is not something that anyone wants to suffer from.

But while many people will contract genital warts at some stage in their life – with it being second only to chlamydia as the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in England – no one should suffer from it.

Genital warts can be treated and below I run through the different treatments available to men who have the infection.

 

What exactly are genital warts?

These little skin lumps, bumps, growths, or alterations, are a Human papillomavirus (HPV). An HPV is a strain of more than a hundred different viruses, which cause warts to appear on your hand, foot, finger, or genital area.

90% of genital warts are caused by two distinct strains of HPV: type 6 and type 11.

 

As a man, where do I find genital warts?

As you would expect from the name, genital warts are found on your genitals and in your genital area. This means that you can find them:

  • Anywhere on your penis
  • Around or inside your anus
  • Inside your urethra (the tube where your urine comes out)
  • On your upper thighs
  • On your scrotum

How can I catch genital warts?

Firstly, you must know that genital warts can’t be caught from kissing, hugging, or touching shared items (such as toilet seats, cutlery, or towels).

What does transmit genital warts is skin to skin contact via sexual intercourse. This covers a number of different activities and the NHS lists these as:

  • Anal sex
  • Non-penetrative genital contact
  • Oral sex – though, this method of transmission is rarer than other
  • Sex toys – if shared
  • Vaginal sex

 

Can I stop myself from catching genital warts

The only way to guarantee you won’t catch genital warts is to avoid all skin to skin contact, including sexual intercourse. 

If you wish you reduce your chances of catching genital warts while having sex, wearing a condom will help to do this.

But you must bear in mind that condoms do not stop all skin to skin contact. So even during protected sex, there is still a chance of you catching genital warts.

 

How do I know if I have genital warts?

If you find that you have a lump, bump, growth, or alteration on your body, and think it may be genital warts, there are plenty of examples of how they look which you can refer to.

A few such examples can be found here and here.  

 

How can I get treatment for my genital warts?

If you have genital warts there are a number of treatments available to help:

  • Podophyllotoxin (Warticon & Condyline): has a poisonous effect on your warts and burns them away. Warticon normally works more quickly than Aldara but doesn’t help to stop recurrent episodes. It should only be used on genital warts – it is not suitable for use around the anus.
  • Aldara: works by stimulating your immune system and causing it to attack your warts. Using this action, Aldara makes your warts less likely to return once they have cleared. Aldara can be used on genital and anal warts.
  • Trichloroacetic acid: this is used on small, tough warts. It removes your warts by destroying the proteins inside the wart cells
  • Cryotherapy: having your warts frozen off by a doctor or nurse
  • Excision: getting your warts cut off/away by a doctor or nurse
  • Electrosurgery: this combines both excision and electrosurgery. First, the outer part of your wart is removed by excision; then a loop is put against the wart and a current is passed through it. This treatment is primarily for larger warts
  • Laser surgery: a surgeon laser burns off/away your warts

 

Genital warts aren’t something that you’re likely to be bringing up during your next dinner party. But that doesn’t mean that you should never speak about them.

Get in contact with a professional and decide which course of treatment is best for you, and make sure that your genital warts no longer cause you to suffer.

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