If you discover bumps around your private areas and you’re sexually active, you might just be infected with genital warts. There’s a 60% chance of being infected by it even if you only have sex once with someone who is infected. With an incubation period between 1 and 6 months, genital warts may not even show up for long after you’ve had sexual contact with an infected partner.
The good news is that after a year or two, the virus that causes genital warts is generally expelled from the body. The bad news is that waiting that long can cause problems, especially if you want an active sex life. Should you find yourself infected with genital warts, here are the best ways to get rid of them.
1. Gardasil Vaccine
With this vaccine, you can avoid getting HPV, the virus that causes outbreaks of genital warts. Women from ages 11 to 26 are recommended to get the vaccination. Talk with your doctor about getting vaccinated. If you’re a parent with daughters, get them vaccinated. Immunization does not mean that you can skip out on your annual pap smear though.
2. Prescription Ointments
If you have genital warts, your doctor can prescribe topical ointments to make them disappear. As OTC wart removers are available, they are not the same as the ones intended for your genital area. Consult your doctor before using any of the prescription ointments for genital warts, especially if you are pregnant as these ointments have the potential to cause birth defects.
3. Surgical Removal
You can elect to have laser surgery to remove them. Or you can have them frozen off with cryosurgery, or burned off with electrocautery. Because not everyone with genital warts is a good candidate for surgery, you should first consult with your doctor.
4. Direct Injection of Interferon Alfa
This therapy is unfortunately only 50% effective in removing genital warts because it doesn’t cure you of HPV which is what causes the warts in the first place. You might need to have a second dose to remove them, and this drug is very expensive.
Different types of genital warts
Of course, the best way to avoid getting genital warts is to avoid having sex. Since sex is enjoyable and fun though, most people don’t want to do without it so the next best thing you can do is to be careful about whom you have sex with. Condoms don’t help much simply because they don’t cover the entire genital region. So be safe when you get between the sheets and make sure you know who’s in your bed before you go all the way.