Condyloma or genital wart is a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that is spread by sexual contact with an infected partner.
They generally occur within 3 months of contact and condoms may help but not assure prevention. The virus generally progresses in warm and moist environments and the genital area is perfect. The disease can get aggravated during pregnancy or in patients with a weak immune system. Continuous recurrence of genital warts puts the patient at risk of cancer in the anus, vagina, penis or vulva. In infants, it can be passed through the infected birth canal.
The most common symptom that is noticed in most patients is an unusual growth upon genitals or near the genitals. There could be some degree of itching also. Internal warts may cause excessive vaginal discharge, discomfort while passing urine, anal itch or bleeding.
The doctor will use a device called Colposcope to examine internal outbreaks. However, the HPV lesions will turn white, when acetic acid is wiped on the cervix or penis. Colposcopy detects flat lesions that cannot be seen by the independent eye. Sometimes sample cells are tested with a biopsy. Moreover, an abnormal Pap smear may also indicate a cervical HPV infection.
Patient’s suffering from condyloma can have various treatments to choose from. The infected wart treatments fall into 2 categories:
Topical preparation to destroy the infected tissue: Condylox (5 % podofilox solution) is generally prescribed by all medical experts. The solution needs to be applied to the affected area as a topical treatment. Other medications include Podocon-25 and Podofin. Pregnant women are abstained from using these medications as they can cause birth defects.
Surgical method for infected tissue removal: Visible warts can be removed using laser. However, the process can be uncomfortable and there are chances of re-occurrence as HBV is still present in the nearby cells. For extreme warts, carbon dioxide laser vaporization and surgical excision are undertaken. On less extensive warts, cryotheraphy can be performed by using liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart tissue which then deteriorates by itself. This is an inexpensive method and does not require any anesthesia. Some medical experts undertake Interferon therapy that involves injecting alpha interferon into the warts to treat the source of the warts.
Condyloma can cause other serious conditions, though it may not be life threatening. But some cases can result in skin changes while others can result in cervical cancer or anal cancer. The long term prognosis includes follow-up care, careful protection during sexual contact and personal hygiene. Even once the warts are treated the chances of passing or re-occurrence are huge.
By using a condom every time you have sexual intercourse, chances of contracting condyloma reduce. However, it must be noted that condoms can only reduce the risk and are not hundred percent effective. A vaccine by the name of Gardasil is available and protects against HPV.
As such there is no real cure to the virus once the patient is infected. Regular medications are prescribed. Unless you opt for a surgery, hospital care is also not required. The wart removal surgery is not very expensive and can cost from $200 - $300. In addition to this, other costs include medical expert fee, surgeon fee and post-care fee.