Genital warts are a contagious sexually transmitted viral infection, caused by HPV. Currently there is no cure for it. Therefore, measures to prevent the infection are considered important. Read to know about measures which can help to prevent genital warts.
Total abstinence is the best way to prevent genital warts and other sexually transmitted disease. It means you avoid all forms of sexual activity (vaginal, oral, anal sex). But this is not a very practical option.
Living in a monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected and is in monogamous relationship with you is the next best option to avoiding sex.
Do not have sex with a person who has genital warts, as the virus is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Avoid sexual contact with the person until the condition is treated and the lesions have healed completely. Know the infection status of your partner as many people with infection may not have obvious warts on the skin. People with no obvious lesion can be infected and can transmit the infection.
Condoms are considered as the best way to prevent genital warts and several other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Regular use of condoms can significantly reduce your risk of getting genital warts and other STDs. However, the use of condoms can only reduce the risk of the disease, but it may not totally protect you from genital warts, as the warts can be present in areas that cannot be covered or protected by a condom. Female condoms can also help to reduce the risk of genital warts. Use condoms during all sexual contact even if your partner does not have any obvious lesion (as many people with infection may not have obvious warts on the skin but can be infected and can transmit the infection).
Vaccine: Vaccines are available for preventing infection with the four most common HPV types (6, 11, 16, and 18). However, the vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV infection. The vaccine (Gardasil) was approved by the FDA in 2006. Use of this vaccine is currently recommended for both males and females aged 9 to 26 years. The vaccine is safe and 100% effective for preventing infection with the four most common HPV types (6, 11, 16, and 18), for women who have not been exposed to the virus. The efficacy decreases in women who have already been infected with HPV. Several studies are being done to determine if the vaccine is safe and effective in older women. Another vaccine Cervarix, (against HPV types 16 and 18) is also approved by the FDA for use in 10-25 years old females.
As treatment for genital warts is not effective in curing infection with HPV, measures to prevent the spread of HPV, which causes genital warts and some other cancers, are important. Some measures which can help to avoid the spread of the infection include:
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