Genital warts are the most common STI seen at genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics throughout the UK. Caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), of which there are over 100 different types, most genital warts are caused by just two types of the virus (types 6 and 11). The virus is easily passed from one person to another (men and women) through sexual contact. But you don’t need to have penetrative sex to catch them, as close genital contact (skin to skin) is enough to pass it on. Most people will not develop warts and the virus will go away without treatment, but you may not know whether you or your partner has the virus. If you do get visible warts you might notice small, fleshy growths, bumps or skin changes which may appear anywhere in the genital or anal area, either externally on the skin or internally. Treatment can involve prescription creams (but not over-the-counter wart preparations); freezing them; using a laser; or surgery.
Remember that you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.
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