Anal warts very often spread through sexual contact, but it can also cause infection when you share a towel. If you are having sex with multiple partners and has frequent sexual activity with males who have genital warts you are likely to pick up anal warts. It starts as tiny spots on the vagina but gradually turns big and grows up to the size of a pea. Normally these warts do not pose any problem or pain to the affected person and hence many people ignore the warts until it gives problem. It can produce itching along with mild bleeding and also give away fluid like discharge. In case you are leaving anal warts untreated, there is chance for it to multiply and spread to adjacent parts. In rare cases, it can become cancerous.
Several methods are used for treating anal wart. Immunotherapy method is used by giving alpha interferon by injection thereby inducing the wart to wither and fall. The only drawback in this method is the cost of alpha interferon since it is quite expensive. Applying cream can also make the wart to disappear after some months. There is chance for the virus to remain subtle on the skin even after the removal of warts.
In some cases, warts appear on the skin even after several months of wart-removal. Liquid nitrogen is used for destroying anal warts, which would burn the warts off from the site. It can also be removed using carbon dioxide vapor in electro cauterization method. Surgery is done for removing warts in some people but the person can get back home shortly after the procedure. There is no need for them to be hospitalized and in rare cases local anesthesia is given for removal of warts.
What Are Anal Warts?
Anal warts or genital warts are a type of sexually transmitted infection caused by virus. It is one of the most common infections more popular in women than men. Small flesh colored bumps or warts appear on the genital area causing itching and discomfort. Anal warts are caused by human papilloma virus shortly known as HPV that spreads from one person to the other through sexual contact. Anal warts can be treated through medications, creams and cryotherapy. You can prevent anal warts by practicing safe sex and monogamy (one-to-one) sex.
Anal Warts Symptoms :
- Both men and women are likely to develop genital warts but women have increased risk.
- Genital or anal warts grow on the walls of vagina, on the lips of vagina and on the anal canal or rectum in women.
- In men anal warts can occur on the tip of the penis or on the scrotal bag or on the rectum/anus. For some men anal warts can occur on the mouth or throat also if they have had oral sex with infected women.
- Tiny flesh colored swellings is seen in the genital area hanging loosely. Sometimes many warts group together resembling a cauliflower. Anal warts can cause itching and irritation and discomfort while having sex. For some women it may cause leakage of blood from the vagina after intercourse.
- Often these anal warts are very small in size and cannot be seen with naked eye.
Anal Warts Causes :
Anal warts are caused by HPV virus. Several kinds of strains of this virus can infect the genital area and anus causing infection. If your immune system is strong it would destroy HPV so that you may not develop any symptoms.
Who Are At Risk?
As per the statement issued by the CDC almost half of sexually active women/men can develop anal warts at some point in their lives.
You are at high risk of anal warts if you have
- Multiple sex partners
- History of anal or genital warts
- Already a sexually transmitted disease
- Become sexually active from teenage
- Sex with strangers
In severe cases anal warts can cause cervical cancer. HPV is closely related with many kinds of cancer including anus cancer, vulva or vaginal cancer and oral cancer. Having large cluster of anal warts can cause burning pain when passing urine. Genital warts can cause severe complications on pregnant women passing on the infection to the newborn baby.
Pictures of Anal Warts :
Images, Pictures, Pics and Photos of Anal Warts
Anal Warts Tests :
It is difficult to identify anal warts owing to its small size. Based on the symptoms, your doctor would apply mild acetic acid on your genitals or anus so that the area becomes white. She woud use magnifying lens to diagnose anal warts. Pap smear test can help in detecting any changes in the vagina or cervix. A small tissue sample is collected from the cervix region to be tested under a microscope for detecting any abnormality. This sample will be tested for HPV strains.
Anal Warts Treatment :
For healthy people the immune system would destroy all HPV virus that give rise to anal warts. The person may not even know that he/she has had HPV infection. Medications and ointments are prescribed for treating anal warts. Topical creams like Aldara or Zyclara is applied liberally on the genitals and anus region. This would trigger the immune system to fight and destroy genital warts. However you should avoid having sexual intercourse during this period since it can cause irritation on the genitals of your partner.
Podophyllin ointment is effective in destroying genital and anal warts. This is a plant based resin and does not contain any chemicals. It may cause slight irritation around the skin for few minutes and for some people it can cause painful sores also. Your doctor would apply this cream on the genitals initially to observe for any side effect. Later you can continue using it at home. Alternatively trichloro acetic acid can be used for burning off the warts from the affected site. This can be tested at the doctor’s office as a safety measure.
- Cryotherapy – In this method liquid nitrogen is applied directly on the warts to burn off the warts. Fresh layer of skin would form on the area gradually. This can cause mild to moderate pain and swelling. But this is an effective therapy to remove anal warts.
- Electrocautering – Here mild electric current is used to burn off the warts from the site. This can be done in the doctor’s office easily. You may have some pain after the therapy.
- Surgical Excision – Large sized warts are removed in this procedure. The patient is given general or local anesthesia and surgical tools are used to safely cut and remove the warts.
- Laser Therapy – High powered beam of light is passed directly on the warts which would wither off slowly from the skin.
Tips For Prevention :
- Using Condom – Avoid having sex with strangers and many sex partners. Use a condom each time you have sex. But even then you can get anal/genital warts.
- Vaccination – Gardasil vaccine can prevent most of the types of HPV strains. You can check with your doctor and take a shot of this vaccine. National advisory committee has recommended HPV vaccine for all boys and girls above 11 years. It is good to take this vaccine before the children become sexually active. By taking this shot you can reduce the risk of anal/genital warts infection by 50%.