Virus that causes genital warts is also the cause of most cases of cervical cancer

Genital warts, also known as venereal warts​​​, are one of the most common STIs in Singapore and worldwide. About 90 per cent of all genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which also causes 70 per cent of all cervical cancers.

"The infection is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, oral and anal sexual intercourse with an infected partner," say doctors from KK Women's and Children's Hospital​, a member of the SingHealth group.

Signs & symptoms of genital warts

As most people may not have any signs and symptoms, the infection often may go unnoticed. Genital warts appear within three months of sexual contact with an infected person. The warts appear as soft, pink cauliflower-like growth or flesh-coloured bumps on the vagina or around the anus that may cause itching, pain and a burning sensation.

Complications of genital warts

Having genital warts may increase the risk of cervical cancer. Those who are infected with genital warts are advised to go for regular Pap smears.

In addition, it may also cause problems during pregnancy such as difficulty in urination as a result of the expanded warts, and obstructed delivery as a result of warts on the vaginal wall (birth canal).

Treatment of genital warts

There is no treatment for the virus itself; only to alleviate and treat the disease caused by HPV.

Ref: O17