How can I know if I have genital warts?

If you think that you have genital warts, or any STI, visit your healthcare provider. He or she can examine you and perform tests, if necessary, to see if you have an STI. The following tests for genital warts are performed:

Men

Your healthcare provider:

  • Examines visible growths to see if they look like genital warts
  • Examines the genitalia and rectum
  • Takes a sample of fluid to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia
  • Takes a sample of blood to test for syphilis
  • Takes a sample of blood to test for HIV (the virus that causes AIDS)

Women

Your healthcare provider:

  • Examines visible growths to see if they look like genital warts
  • Performs a complete pelvic exam
  • Examines the rectum
  • Takes a sample of fluid to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia
  • Takes a sample of blood to test for syphilis
  • Takes a sample of blood to test for HIV
  • May perform a Pap smear and testing for the human papilloma (HPV) virus (especially if you are overdue)

Tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are taken because STIs often occur together and share similar symptoms. Sometimes patients are referred to a gynecologist, urologist, or dermatologist for further testing and biopsy.

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