Everything you’ve read so far may sound completely terrifying, so let’s drop some good news: The vast majority of HPV infections have no harmful effects at all and go away on their own within a year or two without causing any problems. HPV’s connection to warts and cancer tends to freak people out, but most of the time it leads to neither.
Genital warts pop up in vaginas and on vulvas, penises, scrotums, and anuses, and rarely they’ll hang out inside rectums and urethras.
You can also get them in your mouth or throat, but it’s super unlikely.
Genital warts are usually painless — sometimes people don’t even notice the warts (or confuse them with other skin conditions) — though for some they may itch, burn, or cause irritation during sex.
Genital warts can be transferred to partners even if there are no symptoms or signs of warts.
The warts can be burned, frozen, lasered, cut off, or treated with medication, which usually successfully clears them up.
These treatments don’t cure the HPV virus itself, however, so sometimes the unwanted warty visitors continue to return.HPV is impressively contagious, rarely shows symptoms, and most people don’t know when they have it.As a result, nearly everybody gets at least one type of HPV at some point.But, if high-risk types of HPV manage to stick around, they can cause abnormal cell changes that eventually lead to cancer.Just like genital warts, high-risk HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact, so condoms are the best way to protect yourself if you’re going to have sex.It typically takes between six weeks to six months after you’ve been infected for genital warts to develop, but it could be longer.