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    Genital Warts (Human Papillomavirus) - When To Call a Doctor

    Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

    Call your doctor if you suspect you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

    Recommended Related to Sexual Conditions

    Understanding Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Disease

    If you or your sex partner has unprotected sex with anyone else, you are at risk for getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Ask your doctor to test you for STDs during your annual physical, even if you have no symptoms. If you test positive, your sexual partners will need treatment. It may be embarrassing, but you must tell them they have been exposed. It is a matter of life and death. STDs may be detected during a physical exam; through Pap smears; and in tests of blood, urine, and genital...

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    Avoid sexual contact until you have been examined by a doctor.

    Children

    A child can get genital warts in several ways. Any child who has genital warts needs to be evaluated by a doctor to find out the cause and to assess for possible sexual abuse.

    In rare cases, infants may develop warts in the larynx (laryngeal papillomas), which is in the throat, from exposure to HPV during birth.

    Watchful waiting

    A doctor should evaluate any warts or other symptoms that suggest infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) or another sexually transmitted infection (STI). Avoid sexual contact until you have been examined. If you have an STI, avoid sexual contact to prevent spreading the virus.

    Sometimes, warts may go away on their own. If you have genital warts, your doctor may observe your condition without using medical treatment. This is called watchful waiting. This period may vary from a few days to weeks or possibly months.

    The length of the watchful waiting period is based on:

    • The severity of your symptoms.
    • The progression of the problem if not treated.
    • The risks and benefits of waiting.
    • Your age and medical history.

    Who to see

    In general, your family doctor or any of the following health professionals can determine whether you have genital warts:

    Treatment may require a specialist, such as a:

    To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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