The present generation needs no introduction to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This term is quite common and so are the diseases. However, what most people do not know is that there are not just one or two major sexually transmitted diseases, but many more of them. On the surface, the lesser known and less common sexually transmitted diseases have the look and impression of any other ordinary rash or infection. However, these diseases are no less potent that the most common and well-known sexually transmitted diseases.
Genital warts – an introduction:
One of the most common yet unknown sexually transmitted diseases is genital warts. On the surface, genital warts look like either smooth bumps, if small, or fleshy and with a cauliflower texture, if large. These warts appear in the genital areas and are either flesh coloured or white. Going by the looks, these genital warts can very easily be mistaken as any other ordinary rash or any common infection. But on the inside, they have a whole different story.
Human papilloma virus and genital warts:
There have been many reported cases where patients have overlooked genital warts and have ignored them as rashes and had ended up with major problems in the future. So getting an immediate treatment done is highly advisable. Genital warts are caused by mainly the human papilloma virus or HPV.
This species of virus attacks the mucous membranes of the body. There are about 200 types of human papilloma virus, out of which 30 are mainly responsible for causing genital warts. The harmful effects do not stop at just genital warts. It can go up to cancer in the genital area organs like penis, anus, cervix and vulva.
Contacting with the disease:
Of course genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease. This brings down the number of ways of contacting this disease to a relatively small figure. A person can contact with genital warts through contact of the genital skin region or by exchange of genital fluids – both of which are possible during sex.
Unlike some other sexually transmitted diseases, genital warts do not need the process of penetration to be performed in order to be transmitted from one host to another. Thus, protection methods like condoms do not stand a very big chance against coming in contact with genital warts. Other possible ways of transmission of this disease have been reported during childbirth. However, such cases are extremely rare.
Symptoms and detection:
Human papilloma virus does not give away any satisfactory symptoms of genital warts which can be identified by the untrained eye. The only detectable change would be small fleshy bumps or cauliflower-like large bumps. Even these appear after 1-3 months of infection. Thus it is extremely important to get a check-up done if any such thing comes under the scrutiny.
Genital warts and cervical cancer:
Genital warts are mainly common among women. This is why there is a high chance of cervical cancer when genital warts are seen. The human papilloma viruses causing genital warts can bring about changes in cervical cells. This leads to cancerous growth and thereby, cancer in the cervix. The cervical cancerous growth is especially induced by the types 16 and 18 of the human papilloma viruses. Since there is a direct link between cervical cancer and genital warts, it is highly recommended to be very wary of genital warts and go for an immediate treatment.
Prevention of genital warts:
Before cure, comes prevention. If the prevention and precaution measures are good, then there is little need for any prevention, as the disease is stopped before it can cause any damage. Genital warts too, can be prevented if a precaution is always followed. Sexually active women should get themselves the Pap smear test done regularly in order to keep a check on the condition. The Pap smear test also serves as a screening test for cervical cancer.
Medical centres and treatment of genital warts:
Although genital warts are a self-prevention disease, it must be treated as prolonged infection can lead to cervical cancer. In Singapore, there are currently two vaccines –Gardasil and Cervarix which can treat genital warts and cervical cancer. Genital Warts Clinic Singapore is a good place to start if you are looking for treatment.