Hesperian Health Guides
Warts are caused by a virus. Warts on the genitals are softer than warts on other parts of the body and there are usually more of them. It is possible to have warts inside the vagina or inside the tip of the penis and not know it. While warts may eventually go away, usually they continue to get worse and should be treated. Because genital warts can look like an early sign of syphilis, test for syphilis before treating for warts, and if it is syphilis, treat it right away.
Warts grow faster during pregnancy and might bleed during childbirth, which could infect the baby. A pregnant woman with warts should consult a health worker to see if she should give birth in a hospital by caesarean surgery (C-section).
Several treatments given once a week are usually necessary. The health worker usually applies the first treatment and may show you how to treat at home or have you return for treatments. Medicines include trichloroacetic acid (TCA), bichloracetic acid (BCA), or podofilox.
Wear a condom during sex if you or your partner has genital warts or avoid sex until they are gone. The vaccine that prevents Human papilloma virus (HPV) helps prevent genital warts.