Bringing women’s genital warts into the light

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dr. Amelia Setiawati Soebyanto, Sp.DV
dr. Amelia Setiawati Soebyanto, Sp.DV, (Source: PRAMUDIA CLINIC)

Jakarta, IO – Genital warts are frequently underestimated because they do not show other symptoms other than the warts themselves, even though they have a 50% chance of transforming into cervical cancer if not quickly and properly treated. This illness, which is 90% caused by Type 6 and Type 11 Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), must be caught early. Even though the type of HPV that causes genital warts is different from the one causing cervical cancer, in some cases, genital warts within the cervix or the vagina may cause cervical dysplasia, which in turn might develop into cancer. 

“Genital warts affect humid tissues in the genital area. They are small, meat-colored bumps that are sometimes irregularly-shaped, similar to a cauliflower. It is usually benign, causing little trouble to sufferers other than slight itches or discomfort in the genital area in general. These might intensify during sex, and even cause bleeding,” explained dr. Amelia “Amel” Setiawati Soebyanto, Sp.DV, Pramudia Clinic’s dermato-venereology specialist, in the “Bringing Women’s Genital Warts into the Light” webinar held on Wednesday (15/06/2022). 

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Those with highest risk are people who are sexually promiscuous in terms of frequency and intensity of contact, especially if they do not wear safeguards (condoms) when having sex; those who have a previous history of STDs; and persons known to have unhealthy lifestyle (e.g. regular consumption of alcohol and tobacco). Sufferers of seropositive HIV have an extremely high risk of catching HPV virus infection. Therefore, it is extremely important to maintain genital hygiene, such as by wearing sweat-absorbent underpants and replacing tampons and menstrual pads once every four hours or more frequently.