Genital warts

Genital warts, caused by some strains of the human papilloma virus, or wart virus, are the most common STIs

Genital warts are easily passed from one person to another through unprotected vaginal sex, anal sex or oral sex (kissing, licking or sucking someone's genitals). They can also be passed on through close genital contact (when the skin touches).The highest rate of infection is among women aged 20-24 and men aged 25-34.

How to recognise them

Warts can take a year or more to develop after infection with the wart virus. Warts are not always visible, especially if they occur inside the vagina, particularly on the cervix, or in the anus. If warts are not present, the virus cannot be tested for.

How they're treated

Warts can be treated by applying special ointments or paints, by freezing or surgical removal under local anaesthetic.

Related Articles

  • Male condoms

    Everything you have ever wanted to know about condoms all in one place. Talk about condoms, carry condoms, use condoms. You know it makes sense.

  • Female condoms

    Female condoms are like male condoms, only they fit inside the vagina instead of over the penis. Find out more.

  • Types of STIs

    This is where you can find detailed information on individual infections like chlamydia, herpes, genital warts and gonorrhoea, and find out how to treat them.

  • Signs and symptoms

    There are different signs to look out for which might suggest you have an STI. Some STIs have no symptoms. Find out more...

  • How to avoid STIs

    The best way to avoid an STI is to use a condom every time you have sex.

  • Find your nearest service

    Find your nearest young people's service, family planning clinic or sexual health service here. Plus, information on which service might be the best one for you to look for.

  • Get tested quickly

    Get tested quickly If you're worried you may have an STI the most important thing is to get tested


My Contraception Tool

Check out the new My Contraception Tool

A-Z of sex

Find out who won the UK Sexual Health Awards!

Brook & FPA's campaign

Education For Choice

Say YES to 21st century SRE

Your view

This is a quick comments box we cannot reply.