Genital warts

Warts that occur on and around the genitals are caused by a virus that is mostly transmitted by sexual contact. But you can also get genital warts by using a towel belonging to someone who suffers from them. As the warts are sometimes in the vagina or anus, they may go unnoticed. Genital warts are quite harmless, but they are difficult to get rid of and can spread fast.


  • Women can get warts on or near the vulva, in the vagina, on the cervix, and in or around the anus
  • Men get warts on the penis and in or around the anus
  • After infection, it could be a few weeks or as much as a year before the first warts appear
  • It mostly starts with small warts that then get bigger and spread
  • The warts don't hurt but they may itch

The virus stays in your body but the warts can be removed. Having it done as soon as possible simplifies the procedure and also reduces the risk of recurrence.

Safe Sex

A condom gives some protection during vaginal, anal and oral sex but will not always cover the whole infected area. Use a dental dam for licking the vagina or anus (rimming). Avoid any unprotected genital or anal contact (even using your hands). Take care when sharing a sex toy: wash it or put a new condom on it before another person uses it.