Diagnosing Genital Warts

How are genital warts diagnosed?

Genital warts from HPV are growths or bumps on the skin around the genital area; vulva (the area around the vaginal opening), in or around the vagina or anus, on the cervix, and on the penis, scrotum, groin or thigh. They may be raised warts or flat warts, single or multiple, small or large. Some HPV warts can cluster together forming a cauliflower-like shape.

Warts sometimes can be very difficult to see. Also, sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between an HPV wart and other bumps and pimples.

Diagnosis of genital warts is by visual recognition by a health care provider, who may use a magnifying lens to find small warts. Tests (e.g. biopsy) are usually not required.

Sexual health clinics provide a specialist, confidential, free of charge service to everyone.

Genital warts pamphlet

Some Questions and Answers about HPV and Genital Warts

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