HPV (human papillomaviruses), anogenital warts (condylomata acuminata)

HPV (human papillomaviruses) cause what is known as anogenital warts.

Overview

HPV (human papillomaviruses) cause what is known as anogenital warts. In the worst case, the infection can cause cancer (e.g. cervical cancer). It is usually spread through sexual contact. The safer sex rules reduce the risk of infection, and a vaccination is available for prevention.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

Not every HPV infection causes symptoms, but the appearance of anogenital warts is typical. These are painless warts in the genital/anal area, and less commonly in the mouth.

Complications

In some rare cases, anogenital warts can grow and degenerate into malignant tumours (cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, penile cancer or anal cancer).

Causes and treatment

Causes

The infection is caused by the human papillomavirus. It is mostly spread through sexual contact. HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the world.

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Careful examination of the genital and anal regions, search for anogenital warts
  • Gynaecological examination
  • Removal of tissue samples to examine under a microscope
  • Swabs to identify the virus
Possible therapies
  • Cream or cryotherapy (treatment of anogenital warts)
  • Operation to remove the anogenital warts

What can I do myself?

  • Safer sex rules
    • Always use a condom or femidom during sexual intercourse
    • Don't get sperm or blood (including menstrual blood) in your mouth, and don’t swallow
  • HPV vaccination as prevention

Get a personal Preventive Care Recommendation now.

When to see a doctor?

  • If you have large or many warts in the genital/anal region
  • Fast-growing warts

Further information

Federal Office of Public Health
www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en

HPV info
www.hpv-info.ch

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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