Genital warts can be spread by skin-to-skin contact like vaginal or anal sex and by sharing sex toys. You do not need to have penetrative sex to pass this infection on because it spreads by skin-to-skin contact.
Genital warts are similar to the warts you can get anywhere on your body. They occur between 2-3 months after you’ve been exposed although they can occur up to a year after you’ve been infected.
Only about 10% of people exposed to the virus will go onto develop genital warts, so not everyone who has the virus will have warts you can see.
If you do develop symptoms you may notice small, pinkish or white lumps or warts. These can appear either by themselves or as a group around/inside the genital area. These are usually painless, but can bleed if scratched or picked.
The testing and diagnosis for genital warts involves a simple examination of the genital area. There is no swab, urine or blood test for diagnosing genital warts.
There are a few effective treatments for genital warts. These include an anti-wart liquid or cream which can done at home, but remember these must be prescribed from a doctor/nurse and not bought over the counter. Other treatments include freezing which will take place at a sexual health clinic.