Genital warts

Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection that can appear anywhere in the genital area. There are caused by a virus - the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are more than 60 types of HPV, some of which cause genital warts, others cause warts on different parts of the body.


Sexual contact with an infected partner.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms can take several months to develop but may include:

  • Small pinkish/white lumps or large cauliflower-shaped lumps on the genital area.
  • Itching.
  • If present on the cervix (neck of the womb) in a woman, she may notice slight bleeding, or more rarely an unusual vaginal discharge.


Use of a brown liquid - Podophylin - painted onto the warts and washed off after 4 hours. Freezing the wart or laser treatment is also common. Any sexual partner(s) should also attend a clinic for a sexual health check and treatment if necessary.


Using condoms will offer some protection, but only if they cover the affected area.