Genital warts or condylomata acuminata are very common human papilomavirus infection in both men and women. Since most of the research has been focused on HPV in women as a risk of having cervical cancer, men are also equally affected and cause major health concern. So it’s important to understand the risk and treatment for genital warts in men.
In men, HPV can also increase risk of having genital cancers but are less common. More then 50% of the men who are sexually active may have HPV infection at some time in their life.
There are more then 30 subtypes of HPV that can lead to anal or penis cancer, but are rare. The risk of anal and penis cancer is high with sexually active men. But the type of HPV that causes genital warts is not same as the HPV that causes cancer.
Symptoms of genital warts in men
Warts may be single or more that may grow on penis, groin, testicles, thigh or anus. These warts may be raised or flat and may give a shape of cauli-flower. These lesions are usually painless. These warts may appear within a week or after several months of contact with infected person.
Test for genital warts in men
There is no specific test for men and your doctor may diagnose with the clinical examination. If the diagnosis is unclear biopsy may be done.
Genital Warts treatment in men
There is no cure for genital warts in both men and women. So treatment is focused on treating the visible warts and relief symptoms and avoid future complications. There are few topical applications available that can reduce the appearance of warts these medications are Podophyllum resin, Podofilox, Trichloroacetic acid, Dichloroacetic acids.
Other then topical medications your doctor may treat genital warts with surgery. The surgical options are surgical excision, Cryotherapy, Carbon dioxide laser treatment. If none of the treatment is responsive your doctor may prescribe Interferon alpha-n3, but this is not used as routine treatment.
There is a FDA approved vaccination available for males between ages 9-26 called “Gardasil” which is given early in 3 doses over 6 months. This vaccine is effective is preventing HPV subtypes 6,11,16,18. This vaccine is only effective if you are not already infected with HPV virus.