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Genital Wart (Condyloma)

It is a viral disease that develops as a result of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection and can cause genital warts (condyloma) in both men and women. They are cauliflower-like, large and small and usually painless. Genital warts occur in 1% of the US population and are most common between the ages of 20 and 30. Its prevalence is increasing day by day in our country. Genital warts detected in men are extremely important for public health and should be treated.

Incubation Period

The exact incubation period is not clear. Symptoms can appear months or years after contact with the virus. It usually becomes symptomatic within 1-6 months. Sometimes it can remain in the body as a carrier without even showing symptoms.

How is it transmitted?

It is sexually transmitted. Since transmission is always through skin-to-skin contact, it can also be transmitted without full sexual intercourse.

Contact with the virus is important. A person with genital warts can infect other parts of their body by touching and scratching them.

When shaving the genital area, the virus can also spread to other areas by being planted. Therefore, the number of warts, which may be a few at first, can spread rapidly and become very large after a while.

What are HPV Types in Men?

More than 70 types of HPV have been identified, 30 of which show predisposition to the ano-genital region. It has been reported that 80-90% of genital warts in men are HPV Types 6 and 11 and carcinogenic types are less common, while carcinogenic HPV subtypes (types 16 and 18) have been reported in asymptomatic lesions. Lesions in the male genital area are usually 2-10 mm in diameter. It can most commonly be seen around the prepuce (foreskin), frenulum (the sensitive area just below the head of the penis), mons pubis, coronal sulcus (the groove at the head-end of the penis), scrotum (the bag surrounding the testicles), groin and anus. Rarely, it can also occur in the urethra (urinary tract) and bladder (urinary bladder). In women, it can develop around the vulva, cervix, inside the vagina, urethra (urinary tract) and anus. A patient with genital warts reports blisters and lumps on the skin. They are flexible and soft masses that look like cauliflower in shape.

Genital Wart Treatment

Genital warts in men must be treated. The most commonly used and best method in men is cremation. In the burning process, according to the doctor’s preference, electrocautery, leep (loop electrosurgical exicion procedure) or laser (I usually prefer laser burning; recurrence after laser condyloma treatment is much lower than other treatments. Cryotherapy (freezing) can also be used to treat condyloma. It is the process of freezing the lesion and the area around the lesion with liquid nitrogen. Large condylomas can be surgically removed by cutting them out. (Removal of lesions with the help of a scalpel) Among HPV treatments in men, the cauterization method is the most permanent and least likely to recur. (Laser cauterization of condyloma)

Is Post-Treatment Follow-up Necessary?

Even after complete treatment, genital warts are likely to recur. For new warts, periodic examination after treatment is necessary. (The patient can check by looking at his/her own genital area from time to time). Women should have a smear at regular intervals because of the risk of cervical cancer.

HPV Prevention

The most effective individual protection against genital warts is to avoid having sex with people suspected of being at risk of the disease (having many sexual partners). If you have genital warts, tell your sexual partner as soon as possible and have them evaluated by a doctor.

Are Condoms Protective Against Viruses?

Condom use during sexual intercourse reduces the likelihood of condyloma transmission, but does not protect completely. Since the condom only covers up to the root of the penis, the root of the penis is open to contact and can be infected.

Genital Warts and the Psychological Effects

When genital warts are left untreated or recur, they can cause psychological problems. As a result, as with any viral disease, the stress the patient experiences suppresses the immune system, leading to activation of the virus and proliferation or recurrence of the wart. This leads to a vicious circle. It is important that the body’s immune system works strongly to suppress this virus and prevent it from multiplying. For this reason, it is recommended that these patients eat well, live stress-free and quit smoking if they smoke. To increase immune resistance (immunomodulation), local cream (IMOKIMODE), drugs (Interferons) or vitamin-containing drugs can also be used.