What are genital warts?

What are genital warts?

Genital warts are warts that develop on or around the penis, vagina or anus. They are considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Genital warts develop following an infection of the skin or mucous membranes with type 6 or 11 of the Human Papilloma virus (HPV). Not everyone who comes into contact with the virus will develop genital warts.


There are also silent carriers. Silent carriers are those who carry the virus but do not present symptoms. Genital warts are pinkish-red or grey-white in color and vary in size from 1 and 5 mm. They are often grouped closely together and therefore have a ‘cauliflower’ appearance. Genital warts are highly contagious and can be difficult to treat. But they are not dangerous.

How do genital warts develop?

Type 6 and type 11 of the Human Papillomavirus are transmitted through unprotected sex. However, protected sex does not guarantee that you will not develop genital warts. The virus can be transmitted via the mucous membranes in the vagina, anus, penis or mouth during intercourse. This is the reason why genital warts are considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Are genital warts infectious?

Genital warts are a type of STD and are highly contagious. People are usually infected when they have unprotected sex. However, protected sex with a condom does not guarantee 100% protection. The virus can also be passed on by using a damp towel or flannel.