Assessing and Treating Genital Warts Online
Human papillomavirus infection (HPV) is an infection that causes warts to form in various parts of the body. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is so common, that most sexually active people will get it at some point in their lives. In some cases, symptoms may include warts on the genitals or on the surrounding skin. In other cases, there may be no symptoms.
In most cases, HPV will go away on its own and won’t carry any health problems. In more severe cases, it will not go away on its own and it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer. The genital warts will usually appear as small bumps or groups of bumps in the genital area. They can come in many shapes and sizes – raised or flat, small or large, and sometimes shaped like a cauliflower.
HPV can cause cervical cancer, cancer in the back of the throat, and cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. Cancer from HPV will often take years to develop after a person comes into contact with the infection.
There are several things that can be done to lower your chances of getting HPV:
- Get vaccinated. The HPV vaccine is safe and effective. The CDC recommends 11 to 12 year olds get two doses of the HPV vaccine to protect against HPV causing cancers.
- Get screened for cervical cancer.
- If you’re sexually active, use latex condoms and be in a mutually monogamous relationship.
You can talk to your online doctor and get advice about HPV. If you have an STD, our doctors will refer you to your local PCP or a specialist for an in-person examination.
During a video consult on Amwell, one of our board-certified doctors will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine the severity of your genital warts. You will need to have an in-person examination, but our providers can help with diagnosis. Diagnosis will be based on duration, severity of symptoms and your medical history.
It is important for both you and your partner to get tested to know for sure that neither of you have genital warts or any other STD. This is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STDs.
No matter what STD you may have, treatment will likely include the practice of safe sex to avoid spreading the disease to others. The surest way to avoid spreading and contracting STDs is to practice abstinence. This means not having vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
Getting an STD is not the end of the world. Many STDs are curable and all are treatable.
Note: some STDs require ongoing treatment and counseling. We can help you manage the condition if you have already been diagnosed.