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Does human papillomavirus (HPV) have symptoms?

ANSWER

Often HPV causes no symptoms. Some types of HPV can cause genital warts. Warts are single bumps, or clusters of bumps that look sort of like cauliflower.

Genital warts can form around the:

HPV can also cause cervical cancer. Symptoms of cervical cancer include:

Cervical cancer often doesn't cause symptoms until it has already spread. That's why it's important to get screened with a Pap test.

  • Vagina, vulva, groin, anus, mouth, or throat in women
  • Penis, scrotum, thigh, groin, anus, mouth, or throat in men
  • Bleeding between periods or after menopause
  • Heavier than normal periods
  • Abnormal discharge from the vagina
  • Pain during sex

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Genital Warts: Signs and Symptoms."

American Cancer Society: "HPV and Cancer," "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "Genital HPV Infection -- Fact Sheet," "Questions and Answers About HPV."

Cleveland Clinic: "HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment."

National Cancer Institute: "HPV and Cancer."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Vaccines.gov: "HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on March 27, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Genital Warts: Signs and Symptoms."

American Cancer Society: "HPV and Cancer," "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "Genital HPV Infection -- Fact Sheet," "Questions and Answers About HPV."

Cleveland Clinic: "HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment."

National Cancer Institute: "HPV and Cancer."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Vaccines.gov: "HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on March 27, 2019

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