Condyloma or commonly known as genital warts are sexually acquired infection caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). It can infect and cause damage in the vagina and cervix in females and anal and urethral area in both genders. Condyloma is one of the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) around the world causing several lethal complications such as certain types of cancers.
Condyloma can appear as cauliflower protrusion or smooth and flat lesion around the opening of the vagina and anus in females. It can also grow in the linings of the vagina and the cervix. In males, the lesion can grow around the opening of the urethra, shaft, scrotum, and the anus. People engaged in oral sex can also grow warts in the mouth and throat.
Vaginal genital warts can bleed during intercourse and they can be painful or itchy.
Risk factors of condyloma
Genital warts are highly contagious and are mainly spread through sexual contact with an infected person. People infected with other STDs and those who have suppressed immune systems are more prone to contract condyloma. Engaging in sex at a very young age or having multiple sex partners increases the chance of acquiring human papillomavirus, which causes genital warts.
Complications from condyloma
Human papillomavirus is closely link to the development of genital cancer among men and women. More so in women, HPV is said to be the number one cause of cervical cancer. Genital warts are also associated with vulva, anus and penis cancer. Not all HPV infection will result to the development of cancer; however, females infected with HPV are advised to regularly get a pap smear to eliminate cancer suspicion.
Having genital warts is particularly problematic in pregnant women. The warts will damage the vaginal wall limiting its ability to stretch during childbirth. In rare cases also, babies born in mothers with genital warts will contract the disease in their throat needing surgery to free up the airways at a very young age.
Prevention of condyloma
The number one prevention against HPV infection is practicing safe sex. Avoid having sex with multiple partners. The use of latex condom can also decrease the incidence of infection, but it can't eliminate it 100 percent. If you or your sex partner use to have sex with other people, have yourself tested with STD regularly.
All women are also advised to be vaccinated with Gardasil, a vaccine against HPV. The vaccine is best given at the age of 11 and 12, or before a girl becomes sexually active. However, the vaccine can be given to women of all ages so that all sexually active women are advised to be vaccinated even if they are at their fifties.
Treatment of condyloma
Genital warts are treated by topical preparations or by surgery. Podofilox, podophyllin anti-mitotic, and 5-fluorouracil solutions are common topical preparations for treating condyloma. Trichloroacetic acid Imiquimod are also a popular topical treatment. Surgically removing visible warts by using either a scalpel or a laser is also an option to eliminate the lesion. However, surgically removing genital warts without topical preparation application pose the highest rate of recurrence since the HPV are not taken care of internally.