Hesperian Health Guides
Growths (Warts) on the Genitals
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Warts are caused by a virus. Warts on the genitals look like warts on other parts of the body. It is possible to have genital warts and not know it, especially when they are inside the vagina or inside the tip of the penis. Warts may go away without treatment, but it can take a long time. Usually they continue to get worse and should be treated.
Your partner should use condoms during sex until you both have no more warts.
- Put some petroleum gel or other greasy ointment on the skin around each wart to protect the healthy skin.
- With a small stick or tooth pick, carefully put on a very small amount of trichloracetic acid (TCA) until the wart turns white. You can also use bichloracetic acid (BCA).
Warts grow faster during pregnancy. If you have a lot of them, this can cause problems with childbirth. Talk with a health worker about this.
podophyllin solution in the same way until the wart turns brown. Podophyllin must be washed off 6 hours later. Do not use podophyllin while you are pregnant.
If the treatment is working, it will cause a painful sore where the wart used to be. Keep the sores clean and dry. Try not to have sex until they are gone, but if you must have sex, your partner should use a condom. The sores should heal within a week or two. Watch them to make sure they do not get infected.
Several treatments are usually necessary to get rid of all the warts (it does not matter which solution you use). You can repeat the treatment after one week. Try not to get acid on a sore where a wart used to be. If there is too much irritation, wait longer before the next treatment.