Condyloma acuminata is the medical term for genital warts. These warts are sexually transmitted and can be seen or felt on the genitals and around the anus. They also form internally in the upper portion of the vagina or on cervical tissue. They can even form within a man's urethra.
When a person develops condyloma, the warts that form are usually raised a bit away from the other tissue. They usually have a pinkish coloring. These warts are rather small, and some say they resemble cauliflower. However, what people see above the skin is really just a portion of the manifestation of the virus. The virus settles in the cells around the wart, even though the skin there looks completely normal. The virus can also be found in other areas around the genitals and urethra.
Often, a person will have condyloma and not even notice because of the fact that the warts may be present without causing any obvious symptoms, such as when they occur internally. However, some people may notice itching, sensitivity, and burning in the area. Some people feel pain during sexual intercourse when they have condyloma, and some may feel the urge to urinate frequently when they have this condition.
Condyloma is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Interestingly, this virus is responsible for the development of other types of warts as well. HPV is a common cause of sexually transmitted disease (STD). A person can have the virus for an extended period without even knowing it, as there may be no symptoms to notice. This state of unawareness can go on for many years, ending when the person's suppressed immune system allows the warts to develop.
To diagnose condyloma, a medical care practitioner will typically use a colposcope to look for outbreaks of the warts on a woman's cervix. A colposcope is a type of microscope. It may also be used to magnify and confirm the presence of warts on the skin. This device may be used to confirm the presence of the condyloma, even when warts are visible to the naked eye. A biopsy of the affected cells may be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatments for condyloma include topical prescription medications and physical removal using freezing, heat, scalpels or lasers. Receiving a diagnosis of genital warts is often a major cause of concern for women because the HPV virus has been linked to the development of cervical cancer. However, HPV infection doesn't necessarily mean a person will develop cancer.
The majority of the people who develop condyloma are under 33 years old. These warts are highly contagious. As such, a person has a very good chance of catching the virus that causes them when having sex with an infected person even one time. Condoms and abstinence can help prevent its spread. The HPV vaccine (Gardasil) can also help to prevent the spread of the virus that causes genital warts. However, it is usually only administered to women between the ages of 9 and 26.