Condyloma or genital warts are very widespread viral disease. It is believed that the infection affects one in three to four persons in the world. Genital warts are bulges formed by infected cells of the skin or mucous membrane, which usually occur in the genital and anal area.
CausesCondyloma is caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). So far, 80 types of the virus have been isolated, and it is considered that there are more than 100. Genital warts are not caused by all types of HPV virus. Some types of HPV cause warts on the hands and soles of feet, flat warts on the skin, mouth and vocal cords.
Less risky types of HPV cause the appearance of condyloma in genital area. Riskier types of this virus cause dangerous changes in the cervical mucosa (dysplasia) not causing any symptoms. Infection with HPV increases risk of cervical cancer, which is more about the riskier types.
Fortunately, most women with positive HPV test do not get condyloma, dysplasia and cancer. The virus that causes condyloma does not cause cancer but condyloma left untreated increases the risk of cervical cancer.
TransmissionCondyloma is the sexually transmitted disease. Virus can enter the body if skin or mucous membrane are damaged and if there is direct contact with skin or mucous membranes of infected person or its secretions. Using a condom reduces the risk of infection, but the risk is not excluded, because genital warts are located on the areas that aren't covered with condom.
Appearance and LocationFemale condyloma usually appear on the back wall of the entrance to the vagina, small and large lips, perineum, rarely in the vagina, and cervix. In men the genital warts affect prepuce (foreskin) alcove around the head and urethra opening. Less frequently they occur on the scrotum and around the anus (except for homosexuals). Rarely, condyloma occur on the groins and in the oral cavity.
Genital warts are usually soft elongated tubers of skin or mucosa that look like a cauliflower. They are whitish or pink. At first, they are small, but they can significantly grow to be numerous and to form large panels.
SymptomsCondyloma usually do not cause any discomfort - no pain, burning or itching. Also, genital warts are often not noticed. Sometimes, it happens that the wart's surface is damaged causing infections. In this case, bleeding and the a specific odor may occur.
DiagnosisFor the diagnosis gynecological examination, colposcopy, review under magnification, the exfoliative cytology, biopsy and determination of virus type in tissues and bodily secretions are used.
TreatmentTreatment of condyloma may be long-term. The most effective is treatment of both partners, using condoms for several months after healing. Condyloma may be physically destroyed by Cryotherapy (freezing), thermal coagulation, Electrocoagulation, radio-coagulation, laser-vaporization or surgical cutting. The least effective is freeze therapy and the most effective is surgical removal.
Also in the therapy anti-tumor drugs in the form of creams or ointments are used. Local interferon therapy gives poor results. The greatest success in treatment is achieved by a combination of laser therapy with cytostatics or laser plus interferon.
ComplicationsRegardless of the method used in the treatment of condyloma, complications may occur. After the intervention a person can experience burning during urination, pain when sitting, enhanced and altered vaginal discharge. Rarely, pain and swelling in groins and a fever can also be present. In the first two to three months after the intervention one may feel sense of dryness, pain or shooting of lining or the outside of genitals during sexual intercourse.