Genital warts in females are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a microscopic virus particle that infects the skin. Genital warts in females can appear as single bumps or in clusters that have a cauliflower-like structure. Warts in females can be found in the genital area including in and around the anus and the vagina.

Although most strains of HPV in females are harmless, some are associated with an increased risk of cancer of the cervix. These high-risk types of genital warts can cause changes in the cells of the cervix (opening of the uterus) or the cells of the anus and could lead to cancer. Because of this, it is often recommended that females who suffer from genital warts have a vaginal and/or uterine PAP smear every six months. Some studies have shown that women with the HPV virus may have a harder time getting pregnant using infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization.

In many cases genital warts in females do not cause any visible symptoms, but they are sometimes associated with itching, burning, or tenderness. They may result in localized irritation, depending upon their location. Females who have genital warts inside the vagina may experience bleeding following sexual intercourse or an abnormal vaginal discharge. Rarely, bleeding or urinary obstruction may occur if the wart involves the urethral opening. Genital warts in females may cause only one outbreak or they may cause recurrences over time. Genital warts in females are most likely to be transmitted to your sexual partner when the warts are actually present, but sometimes warts are too small to see with the naked eye.

Treatments for genital warts in females may include genital wart treatments applied by the female at home or genital wart treatments applied a doctor's office. Currently there is no cure for genital warts in females. If you have the virus, it will remain in your body. Prompt treatment of genital warts in females may help reduce the risk of transmission to a partner who has never been exposed to HPV.

Genital warts in females may cause only one outbreak or they may cause recurrences over time. Genital warts in females are most likely to be transmitted to your sexual partner when the warts are actually present, but sometimes warts are too small to see with the naked eye. Talk to your physician about the best way to treat you female genital warts.

Glossary

Human Papillomavirus (HPV): The virus that causes genital warts in males and females.
In Vitro Fertilization: A common fertility treatment that involves inserting sperm into the vagina in a clinical setting.


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