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Genital Warts (cont.)

Genital Warts Outlook

  • In many cases, genital warts fail to respond to treatment or come back even after an removal.
  • Reappearance of abnormal cells on the cervix of women is not altered by treatment of their sexual partners.
  • Recurrence rates of genital warts are greater than 50% after one year and have been attributed to the following factors:
    • Recurrent infection from a sexual partner; infection with multiple HPV types is possible
    • Potentially long incubation time of HPV
    • Persistence of the virus in the surrounding skin, in the hair follicle, or in sites that are missed by the treatment used
    • Deep lesions or lesions that cannot be detected
  • Genital warts often appear or increase in number during pregnancy. Dormant infections may also become activated. The presence of genital warts may make vaginal delivery difficult if they are in the cervix or vagina, and warts in these locations tend to bleed easily. The warts often disappear wihtout treatment after pregnancy. The real danger, however, is that newborns may become infected during passage through an infected birth canal. HPV can cause a very serious condition in children called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). This is a life-threatening disease of the respiratory tract. The papillomas or warts appear and spread quickly, sometimes dangerously blocking the child's airway.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/1/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Warts, Genital »

Until the 19th century, genital warts (GWs) were believed to be a form of syphilis or gonorrhea.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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