Signs and symptoms   


Signs And Symptoms Of HPV

Only a fraction of people infected with HPV actually develop warts.

Most patients with HPV infection have no signs or symptoms at all!

If present, visible genital warts have various shapes and sizes, and can appear after infection of the vulva, vagina, cervix, anus, rectum or penis. In girls, the skin at the opening of the vagina is the most common site of infection, and the anal area the second most common. Warts in these areas are usually small, soft, cauliflower-shaped, grayish protrusions. Multiple small cauliflower condylomas can coalesce (group together) to form one large condyloma (click picture below). Warts can also present as small, smooth, skin-colored, dome shaped lesions or they might just appear as slight flat protrusions in the affected area. In boys, warts are generally found on the penis and pubic area, but can also be found in the bladder, urethra, rectum and anal area. In over 50% of HPV cases, lesions are located in multiple locations. 

In most cases, venereal warts produce no symptoms and are diagnosed only by physical exam. If symptomatic, infected people may experience itching, burning, vaginal discharge, or bleeding. It is important to know that a person can pass on the infection to a sexual partner even if he/she has no visible lesions or symptoms at the time or has already been treated for the infection. 


Click the "Animation" tab on the right to see how an HPV infection occurs.