Is There a Treatment for Genital Warts?
Very often our bodies fight off the virus. If so, the warts go away with no treatment. That's why a lot of people choose to just wait for the warts to go away on their own. But you may choose to get genital warts treatments if the warts are uncomfortable, get in the way of sex play, or you don't like the way they look.
Warts can be removed with various genital warts treatments. Talk with your health care provider to decide which treatment might be best for you.
There are several medicines that can be applied directly to genital warts, depending on where they are located. Some prescription genital warts treatments can be used at home. Other treatments must be applied by your health care provider. Some genital warts treatments can cause discomfort. And some cannot be used during pregnancy.
Genital warts also may be removed by freezing them. This is called cryotherapy. They may be burned off. This is called electrocauterization. Or they may be removed with surgery or with lasers. In some cases, they are treated with injections of interferon, another type of medication.
Like all medications, genital warts treatments have risks and side effects. Your health care provider can explain them to you and help you deal with the side effects of your treatment.
After having genital warts treatment
- Keep the area clean.
- Don't scratch the treated area.
- Wash your hands after touching the warts.
- Avoid sexual contact if it is uncomfortable.
- Apply cold compresses to relieve discomfort, or you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).
For most people, the first series of genital warts treatment is successful in removing the warts. But even though the warts go away with treatment, they may return. This is because the treatments can remove the warts, but they don't cure the virus that causes warts.
For some people, the warts may come back several months after treatment — especially if they smoke cigarettes. And for some people, the warts continue to return, even after long periods of time.