The majority of complications from genital warts themselves occur in pregnant women. Warts may become larger during pregnancy. This can lead to difficulty urinating or delivering the baby. Additionally, the warts may be passed to the infant. If warts form in the baby's throat it can be life threatening as they can inhibit the ability to breathe.

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Partners and Re-infection

Partners can be infected by both intercourse and skin-to-skin contact. When you are asymptomatic, consistent proper use of latex condoms is the best method of protecting your partner from contracting HPV.

Mark Riegel, MD

Quick snapshot

Can it be cured?

No. Viruses don't have cures, but symptoms can be controlled with proper treatment.

Type of Infection

Viral. Genital warts are caused by certain strains of HPV, the human papillomavirus.

How is it treated?

Medicine or Surgery. There are a variety of treatment options including medications and surgery (freezing, burning, laser and physical removal).

Recovery Time

1 to 4 weeks. Recovery varies by type of treatment as well as size and location of the outbreak. Anywhere from 1-4 weeks should be expected.

Can I have sex?

No. Until the warts are gone, sexual activity should be avoided.

Can I get re-infected?

Yes. As the base cause of genital warts is an incurable virus, you can have recurrence of genital warts without a new infection.