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Dec 06 2008

Myths and Misconceptions of Genital Warts

Posted at 2:46 pm under General Info,Penile Warts

Myths and Misconceptions of Genital Warts

Genital Warts are among the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases, but people lack the right information to help prevent or treat this condition. Clear, correct, updated information regarding human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital warts is difficult to find. The result is that a lot of myths and misconceptions regarding genital warts abound. In some cases, these mistaken beliefs may even do harm. Inaccurate information may have several physical and emotional ramifications on the sufferer. For instance, he/she may suffer from severe anxiety over his/her condition, doubt the faithfulness of his/her partner, undergo an expensive and painful treatment that could otherwise have been avoided, or worst of all, neglect having his/her condition treated and risk his/her health.


This article tackles the most common misconceptions and busts these myths in order to make more people understand genital warts and HPV better.


Myth: Only women can carry HPV and have genital warts.

Fact: The chances of men and women having HPV and genital warts are more or less equal. However, the symptoms of genital warts appear more on women because their anatomy provides a better breeding ground for the virus. The warm and moist environment of the vagina makes it an attractive location for the virus to reside in and multiply.


Myth: I can only get genital warts by having unprotected sex.

Fact: It is no doubt that having unprotected sex increases your chances of getting HPV. HPV can also be transmitted by direct skin contact. Thus, some forms of protection like condoms won’t guard you against some STDs because they don’t cover the entire genital area. It can also be passed on through oral sex, resulting in warts in the mouth and throat. Moreover, some studies have shown that HPV can be spread through contact with infected objects such as contaminated medical equipment and bath towels.


Myth: If I don’t see genital warts, it means that I don’t have HPV.

Fact: HPV, when passed on, can be in a latent or incubation phase that can last for a few weeks to even several years. Thus, symptoms of genital warts won’t manifest right away. A carrier may never know that he/she has the virus. In fact, experts estimate that only around 1 percent of all Americans who are sexually active have visible warts. 


Myth: Genital warts appear only on the head of the penis.

Fact: Genital warts can appear anywhere – on the head, shaft, scrotum, or even the thighs or lower abdomen.  Here are some warts on the shaft.

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