Genital warts; They are cauliflower-like warts that develop as a result of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection in the genital area in both women and men.
This sexually transmitted infection, which is seen with an increasing frequency in our country, has many serious problems that are likely to cause both in men and women. For this reason, every individual should be informed about this infection and should immediately consult a doctor when he or his partner suspects this infection. Genital warts, which are seen to cause more problems especially in women, are painless masses, sometimes in a single area, sometimes in several areas, sometimes as small as a pinhead, sometimes up to 5 cm in diameter (may be 15-20 cm in rare cases). As with most viral diseases, once HPV enters the body, it settles in the cells and causes exacerbations from time to time. Therefore, HPV infection is considered a disease with no definite cure. HPV infection is particularly common in individuals who have (or have had before) multiple sexual partners and their partners. Transmission of the virus occurs by contact of another individual’s infected area (such as the penis), mucous membranes (such as the mouth and vagina) or naturally moist areas (such as the anus).

May be asymptomatic in men

After HPV infection, it gives symptoms with the formation of masses called condyloma (warts) of varying numbers and sizes in the genital area and/or around the anus, following an incubation period of 2-6 months. Symptoms are highly influenced by individual characteristics and infection may be completely asymptomatic, especially in males. It can also progress asymptomatically in women, but in these cases, which progress “asymptomatically”, in detailed examinations with a magnifying glass (colposcopy), very small masses in the external genitalia, vagina or cervix are detected in most women. In some cases, especially in women, it is possible to encounter giant cauliflower-like masses that fill the region between the vagina and anus, the anus or the vagina completely. In oral (by mouth) genital sex applications, lesions may also occur in the oral mucosa. Sometimes, the only manifestation of HPV infection in women is the presence of HPV infection-specific cellular abnormalities (koilocytosis) in the pap smear in the gynecological examination. HPV is a highly contagious virus and even short-term contact with the mucous membranes or genital areas (as in sexual intercourse) is sufficient to infect the lesions in the genital area. Due to the fact that the genital mucosa is open to the external environment through the vagina, it is more easily transmitted from man to woman.

It affects the genetic structure of the cell.

HPV, which causes condyloma (warts) formation in the genital area, is a virus that has the ability to affect the genetic structure of the cell by settling inside the cells. There are many subtypes of HPV. Some of these subtypes cause the cells to turn into cells that can multiply rapidly and uncontrollably by their effects on the cells. Excessive growth of condyloma masses existing before the pregnancy period or newly emerging during pregnancy sometimes causes obstruction of the birth canal and vaginal delivery becomes impossible. The typical appearance of masses in the genital area is sufficient to make the diagnosis. In doubtful cases, it may be necessary to make a diagnosis by taking a biopsy from the masses.

How is it treated?

The basic principle in the treatment of HPV infection is to clean the masses as much as possible to minimize recurrences. For this purpose, treatment is applied in the form of local (regional) treatment and burning of large lesions by cauterization using effective drugs against viruses. The point to remember is that treatment is limited to removing only visible lesions. HPV infection has a chronic course and although the masses disappear completely, it continues to be contagious thanks to the viruses that live secretly inside the cells.

Be careful in the relationship 

Since HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, taking general precautions is the only way to prevent HPV infection. However, the contagiousness of HPV is so high that even the use of condoms in suspicious relationships may not protect it. During sexual contact, it can be transmitted from the parts of the male genital area that are not protected by a condom to a woman or vice versa. Therefore, it is very important not to have intercourse with those with obvious condyloma lesions.

There are many subtypes of HPV virus that causes genital condyloma, and some of them are very closely related to cervical cancers (cervical cancers). Women with warts are at a much higher risk for these cancers and this group of women should definitely not neglect their annual gynecological controls and smear screening.

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