Genital warts usually take 2-4 weeks to appear following infection but in some cases, it can take months or years. That means you can be infected without having any symptoms, which means it's essential you are tested regularly. The warts can be soft and fleshy or firm and tough. There can be a single wart or multiple warts, which can grow together and form a "cauliflower" pattern on the skin. They are usually around the genitals or back passage but can also appear on the upper thighs and in rare cases, the hands, mouth and throat. They don't tend to hurt but they do itch.
Genital warts are less common in men than they are in women.
- Unsightly, itchy warts found around or on the penis, around or in the anus and on nearby skin including the scrotum and upper thighs
- Discharge from the penis and under the foreskin
- Bleeding from the penis, anus or urethra (tube from which you pee)
- Discharge from the penis, which can be white, cloudy, yellow or green
- Pain when peeing (indicates there may be warts in the urethra)
- Pain during a bowel movement (indicates there may be warts in the anus)
Genital warts are more common in women than men and if you are pregnant, it is possible to pass them on to your unborn child.
- Unsightly, itchy warts found around or in the vagina, around or in the anus and on nearby skin including the upper thighs.
- Vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding during or after sex
- Bleeding from the anus or urethra (tube from which you pee)
- Painful bowel movements (indicates warts in the anus)
- Pain when peeing (indicates warts in the urethra)
Genital warts do not just affect the genital area. Rarely, they can also occur:
- On the hands
- On and around the mouth and lips
- In the throat
Genital warts are ugly and can also cause considerable psychological distress for both men and women.
Last updated July 27, 2018