Genital Warts

Genital Warts on Men: Symptoms, Risks, and Ways of Treatment

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Stephanie S. Gardner, MD, has been a rehearsing dermatologist for as far back as 20 years. This specialty is considered the most popular in this field.

Perhaps, you will be surprised that the clinical manifestations of genital warts are present in 15-20% of men infected with HPV. The remaining 80% have the dormant (latent) state of the infection. In 70% of the representatives of the strong half, the disease is transient: the immune system copes with a virus attack, and the pathogen is eliminated from the body itself. But you shouldn’t wait until your body fights the virus on its own. What if it fail? There is no need to take such risks and waste time.

All types of warts are caused by HPV but each of them is caused by a definite type of this virus. As for the genital warts in men, they are formed as a result of the introduction of human papillomavirus of 6 and 11 types into the body. This kind of warts are formed on the skin and mucous genital organs and anus. Genital warts in men are located on the head of the penis and the mucous membrane of the foreskin, the mucous membrane of the external opening of the urethra. HPV enters the body through genital-genital and genital-anal sex. Is this the only way or there are others? Find this out!


How Dangerous Are Genital Warts for Men?

Genital warts are a clear sign of the presence of HPV in the body. Therefore, the appearance of the first changes in the groin area is the reason for consulting a doctor. In the absence of timely treatment, warts will be injured about underwear or during sexual intercourse, which is dangerous by the development of precancerous conditions and directly by the cancer of the genital organs.

When a wart appears, it is necessary to abandon sexual activity before the end of treatment, otherwise warts injured during intercourse will hurt, itch and bleed. Some men with the appearance of warts believe that they were infected with a sexually transmitted disease. However, this opinion is wrong. Warts on the genitals are both a manifestation of HPV, and an alarming signal to the body about the deterioration of the immune system.

So, if the condylomas are covered with a significant part of the inguinal region, then there is a need to diagnose and correct the immune status. In addition to the main treatment, which consists in the use of antiviral and immunomodulating drugs, the patient will be offered laser or radiosurgical removal of warts as a cosmetic defect and recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


What Are the Causes of Genital Warts in Men?

The statistics of the last 10 years claims that men are prone to having genital warts not less often than women. In most cases, these kind of warts are located in areas around the genitals, which is why they have got their name. They are found around the anus not so often as around the genitals but it is also possible.

There are several ways to be infected with such a virus. In most cases, it occurs during sexual intercourse with an infected person, and it is not at all necessary that it should be an anal sex. With heterosexual intercourse, infection can also occur due to the anatomical proximity of organs, the infection spreads immediately to the perianal area. However, as the statistics says, men with the non-traditional sexual orientation suffer from this problem 5-8 times more often, if the intercourse isn’t protected.

Another common cause of genital warts is orogenital contact. With such contact, a woman who is infected with a virus on the mucous membrane of the mouth may be a source of infection for a man.

Why do condylomas occur in most cases around the anus? Everything is simple: like any other virus, the best places for the virus are wetted surfaces of the human body. The skin between the buttocks just “meets all requirements” by more than 100%. And in cases where the rules of personal hygiene are not respected, such places are just a find for the virus.

It is worth remembering that one virus is not enough for the manifestation of warts. Out of 100 infected men, only 2-3 people develop the disease. Often, this happens due to the failure of the body’s immune system.


What Is the Incubation Period for Genital Warts Men?

Warts are located in the place of the so-called entrance gate of infection. After sexual intercourse, an asymptomatic incubation period occurs, which may last for several months, then skin manifestations are detected. The absence of genital warts does not mean that the partner is healthy. In general, it is up to 9 months. In some cases, the virus can be in the body for years, while the absence of genital warts does not mean that the partner doesn’t have the virus.

Warts on genitals are just manifestations of the virus activity. In some men, they may appear in a month while in others, years may pass and warts will appear only when the immunity is weakened. However, the sexual contacts with the carrier of the virus are dangerous even if you don’t see genital warts and a man looks outwardly completely healthy. So the best way to start sexual relationships is to examine each partner to be sure that they don’t have HPV.


What Are the Reasons of the Weakened Immunity in Men?

It is well-known that to get easily infected, a man should have the weakened immunity. Why does this happpen? The reasons are not new:

  • Sharp temperature drops, leading to overheating or overcooling of the body;
  • Systematic lack of sleep or frequent fatigue;
  • Stressful work or tense relationships with the family members;
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol (low-alcohol drinks are also included);
  • A lot of fat and meat dishes, the rejection of fruits and vegetables, which are the main sources of natural vitamins and minerals.

All the above-mentioned factors have a negative effect on the man’s health and as a result there is a weakened immunity and the HPV. Even if you have 1 of the factors, for example, stress, it will be enough to decrease your body protection. If more than 1 factor is true for you, then you are even more vulnerable to the HPV as well as for any other virus.


Is It Possible to Diagnose Genital Warts on Your Own?

If several weeks passed after you have been infected with the HPV, you may notice genital warts. For some men, this happens sooner while for others much later. If your immunity is weakened, then the warts can form in groups. They will resemble cauliflower, closing the entrance to the anal canal. Warts can be found around the genitals, in the inguinal folds and on the thighs.

Warts that are located around the anus have the following symptoms:

  • itching,
  • constant burning,
  • a presence of the liquid that has a bad odor.

Also, you will notice the irritation of the nearby skin. Such warts cause a lot of inconvenience to the “owner”; pain and slight bleeding may appear during stool. If warts are not treated for a long time, they may well turn into malignant tumors, the treatment of which is very difficult.

It is not difficult to diagnose this skin problem even without the help of a specialist because the symptoms of this disease don’t resemble any other disease. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit the doctor. He/she will examine the skin of the anus and genitals, further examining the rectum from the inside to detect internal seals in the intestinal wall.

For more serious manifestations of the disease, sigmoidoscopy and a blood test for HIV infection and syphilis may be necessary. In cases of suspected male genital warts, a histological analysis is performed. The best way is to have the following system of examination, which will provide you with the 100% results of the problem investigation.

The diagnosis should be made on the basis of an external examination of the genital organs and a number of laboratory-instrumental examinations:

  • PCR – diagnostics of HPV,
  • histological examination of the biomaterial,
  • urethroscopy (if there is a suspicion that the wart is localized in the urethra of a man).

Additional methods that help to establish the general condition of the patient include:

  • PCR – diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections (STIs),
  • blood ELISA for syphilis,
  • blood for HIV and hepatitis B, C.

It should be noted that the combination of PVI with other STIs has a significant impact on the clinic, features of the course, resistance to therapy and prognosis. To clarify the state of the immune system, a doctor may ask to check an immunogram.


How to Get Rid of Genital Warts in Men?

You should understand that the treatment should be complex. If you just remove the warts using one of the modern procedures without treating the virus itself, warts may appear again with time. That’s why you need to choose the most effective and suitable method for removing the wart itself and the drugs that will help to increase your immunity and fight HPV effectively.

First of all, doctors prescribe drugs that affect the immune system:

  • interferons and their inductors,
  • synthetic immunomodulators,
  • a presence of the liquid that has a bad odor.

Physiological methods of destruction are divided into several types and depend on the method of exposure:

  • Cryodestruction is more suitable for eliminating single and not too large genital warts in men, exposure is carried out with liquid nitrogen, nitrogen oxide or carbon dioxide. Both extracellular and intracellular fluids freeze, which is accompanied by the death of the affected tissues. If there is more than a warts, then either another treatment method is selected, or cryodestruction is performed several times. The disadvantages include the invasiveness of the impact: blistering, hyperemia, edema are formed. The use of a special gel to separate the condyloma from healthy tissues allows for a neat wart to be separated after freezing.
  • Diathermocoagulation – a classic method, which is based on the destructive action of the current. It can be used for any size of condylomas and other similar tumors.
  • Laser removal implies a destructive effect on the formation of viral genesis of special CO2 – lasers, effectively with any sizes of papillomas, genital warts, warts, etc. A soft type of laser therapy is vaporization.

Surgical excision of urogenital warts in men with a scalpel has recently been performed rarely. This is because the method is quite traumatic, and rehabilitation in the postoperative period lasts longer. But this method is always chosen when there is a suspicion of an oncological process and a wide excision is necessary. The least traumatic variant is a combination of cryodestruction and plasma coagulation.

The criterion of the effectiveness of treatment is the complete absence of clinical manifestations after destructive surgical and drug treatment. Many men postpone the visit to the doctor because they feel shy to tell about such intimate problem. It is necessary to take into account that the sooner you’ll see a doctor, the faster you will get rid of the unpleasant warts and forget about the problem. If you still doubt whether to go to the hospital or hope that the warts will disappear on their own, keep in mind that warts without treatment may lead to the penile cancer and other dangerous diseases you can avoid if seeing a doctor immediately!


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