- What is condyloma?
- What are the symptoms?
- Causes of condyloma or why does it occur?
- Can it be prevented?
- What is the treatment?
What is condyloma?
Condylomas are genital warts and are among the most common types of sexually transmitted infections. In fact, at least half of all sexually active people will be infected with the virus that causes genital warts in their lifetime.
Genital warts affect the moist tissues of the genital area. They can be small, skin-colored bumps or larger, similar to a cauliflower.
In men, genital warts may appear on the tip or shaft of the penis, on the year or on the scrotum. In women, however, they may appear on the vulva and perineal area, and extend into the vagina and cervix. However, they can also appear in the throat and mouth of a person who has had oral sex with an infected person.
What are the symptoms?
Although most genital warts or condyloma are painless and do not cause symptoms, they can cause some symptoms that help the patient to be aware of their presence:
- Itching, burning or pain in the infected area.
- Small flesh-colored or gray bumps in the genital area.
- Bleeding during sexual intercourse (for women).
- Abnormal vaginal discharge (women).
- Several cauliflower-shaped warts together.
- They are usually small and flat, very small, but sometimes they can multiply in large clusters.
Causes of condyloma or why it occurs
Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), as some strains of this virus can cause genital warts, while others can cause cancer. There are exactly more than 40 strains of HPV that affect the genital area. Any genital HPV is transmitted by sexual contact, although, in most cases, the immune system kills genital HPV, without developing symptoms of infection.
Can it be prevented?
The best way to prevent the spread of HPV and thus avoid condyloma is to practice safe sex by using latex condoms during intercourse and to avoid sexual contact with infected persons. However, sometimes the use of condoms does not prevent the spread of condyloma, because warts can appear in unprotected areas around the genitals.
There is also a vaccine for condyloma acuminatum, which is used as a preventive measure in young people just entering puberty. This vaccine also helps prevent cervical cancer.
There is also a vaccine called Gardasil that protects against the strains of HPV that cause genital warts, and also protects against the strains that usually cause cervical cancer. Vaccination is recommended for girls and boys aged 11 and 12, before they become sexually active.
What is the treatment?
There are several treatments for condyloma, many of which focus on removing the warts using different techniques: cryotherapy, electricity or scalpel.
Some doctors will also recommend antivirals or medications to strengthen the immune system and its response. If the warts do not bother or itch you may not need treatment, but if the opposite is true, the doctor may even recommend surgery.