Genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The warts are soft, moist, pink, or flesh-colored bumps. You can have one or many of these bumps. In women, the warts usually occur in or around the vagina, on the cervix or around the anus. In men, genital warts are less common but might occur on the tip of the penis.
You can get genital warts during oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected partner. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading HPV. HPV vaccines may help prevent some of the HPV infections that cause genital warts.
Your health care provider usually diagnoses genital warts by seeing them. The warts might disappear on their own. If not, your health care provider can treat or remove them. The virus stays in your body even after treatment, so warts can come back.
NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Anal Warts (American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons)
- Condyloma Acuminatum (Genital Wart, HPV) (Logical Images)
Statistics and Research
- Genital Warts -- Initial Visits to Physicians' Offices, United States, 1966 - 2012 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Condylomata Acuminata (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Trends in genital warts diagnoses in New Zealand five years...
- Article: Human papillomavirus vaccination and genital warts in young Indigenous Australians:...
- Article: Vaccines against human papillomavirus infections: protection against cancer, genital warts...
- Genital Warts -- see more articles
- Condom Fact Sheet in Brief (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Genital warts (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- HPV Vaccine - Cervarix: What You Need to Know (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF
- HPV Vaccine - Gardasil: What You Need to Know (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF
- HPV Vaccine Gardasil®-9: What You Need to Know