Diagnosis of Genital Warts
Diagnosis of Genital Warts - Genital warts are the sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They appear as tiny cauliflower-shaped bumps that are gray or flesh-colored. They usually develop in the genital and anal area. The symptoms of genital warts may not appear for as short as a few weeks to as long as several months, so it is tough to determine whether or not you are a carrier of the virus. The best method to find out is to consult your doctor so that he/she can make the proper diagnosis and suggest the best treatment plan for your case.
Before making a diagnosis of genital warts, the medical practitioner will usually ask you several questions regarding the symptoms you are currently experiencing, your medical and sexual history, other medical problems that you may have and what medications you are taking.
The doctor will then do a physical test to spot the signs and symptoms of genital warts, which can be easily detected through a direct visual examination. This involves a thorough observation of the pelvic region, genital areas, and the thighs. The doctor will also examine your mouth and throat areas for any appearance of warts. To the naked eye, genital warts may look like flesh-colored flat or raised lesions on the skin. Warts may be small or large and are found in clumps.
However, not all genital warts can be easily seen. Thus, doctors may use some solutions to verify their presence. A three to five percent acetic acid solution (i.e., white vinegar) is commonly applied to the penis, labia, cervix, and nearby the anus to inspect for the presence of unnoticeable genital warts. These warts will turn white as the acetic acid solvent comes into contact with them. However, the presence of white spots does not always mean that the patient has genital warts. The test may turn to positive for other medical conditions, such as psoriasis, yeast infections, and lichen planus.
Aside from a direct visual examination, your doctor may also recommend a Pap smear if you’re a woman. During a Pap smear, your doctor will rub some cells from your uterine cervix. These cells are then thoroughly examined for any abnormalities. If the doctor detects an anomaly, he/she will recommend that you undergo further tests to determine its exact root. The doctor may also do another test called a colposcopy. During colposcopy, the doctor uses a special lighted magnifying device to have a better look at your vagina, cervix, and vulva and to check for any signs and symptoms of genital warts. Moreover, some cases may warrant a biopsy. It involves eliminating a small tissue sample from the cervix and examining it using a microscope.
Before making a final Diagnosis of Genital Warts, the doctor also does other experiments that will rule out other related looking infections like herpes, skin tag, seborrheic keratoses, and pearly penile papules, among others.
The key to fighting genital warts is early detection and immediate treatment. As with other health conditions, the chances of successfully treating it increase if it is dealt with in its previous stages.