How can I prevent genital warts?

  • Don't have sex with someone who has genital warts or is being treated for genital warts.
  • Use latex condoms, even if you are using another form of birth control.
  • Get vaccinated with the HPV vaccine. One vaccine, called Gardasil, is approved for girls and women ages 9 to 26 and protects against the development of cervical cancer. It is best to get the shot before the start of sexual activity. The vaccine consists of a series of three shots, with shot two coming 2 months after the first, and shot three coming 6 months after the first. If you already have HPV, the vaccine does not treat or cure but can still help protect against other types of HPV infections (other than those that cause cervical cancer; for example, the vaccine can help protect against the HPV that causes genital warts).

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/12/2014.


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